Breaking Travel News

Priceline 3Q ‘04 Gross Travel Bookings up 44%
Incorporated today reported 3rd quarter 2004 gross
travel bookings of $432 million, a 44% increase over a year ago. Gross
travel bookings refer to the total dollar value inclusive of taxes and
fees of all travel products purchased by consumers. Revenues were
$235.9 million versus $243.4 million for the same period a year ago.

  Airline ticket unit bookings, which include published-price and
Name Your Own Price(R) tickets, grew 65% compared to the same period a
year ago. Hotel room night unit bookings grew 27% compared to the same
period last year and rental car day unit bookings increased 12% year
over year. Hotel room night unit bookings include bookings of
Travelweb, which was acquired in May 2004, and ten days of results
from Active Hotels, which was acquired in September 2004. Rental car
day unit bookings include bookings of and, which were acquired in June and December 2003,

“’s growth in gross bookings and gross profit dollars
continued at an industry-leading pace, fueled by new products and
product improvements, as well as contributions from Travelweb,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Jeffery H. Boyd.
“On the bottom line, solid expense controls allowed us to report
better-than-expected earnings, despite the negative impact of the
hurricanes on bookings and cancellations in the southeast during the

A major development in the 3rd quarter for and its
hotels service was the acquisition of UK-based Active Hotels Ltd., one
of Europe’s leading Internet hotel reservation sites, on September 21,
2004. For the twelve months ended September 30, 2004, Active Hotels
had gross travel bookings of approximately $160 million, an
approximate 100% increase over the same period a year ago. said it expected the acquisition to be accretive to its
earnings (before non-cash amortization expense associated with the
acquisition) for the 4th quarter 2004 and for 2005. Active Hotels will
continue to be managed by Active’s Europe-based management team.

The acquisition of this profitable travel service expands’s footprint in the European travel marketplace and
broadens the Company’s inventory of hotels. Active Hotels works with a
base of 8,000 participating European hotels. Active Hotels’
distribution system includes 1,500 independent Web sites throughout
Europe, plus company-owned Web sites like ActiveReservations. Active
Hotels’ services are available in English, French, Spanish, German and


Looking forward, Mr. Boyd commented, “With’s
expanded product line, including retail products, we believe that we
are better positioned to compete in the busy holiday travel season
than in previous years. Moreover, we believe that our ongoing
initiatives to offer retail choices to our hotel and rental car
customers, expand packaging and destination commerce and build on
Active Hotels’ leadership position in Europe should provide a firm
foundation for growth into 2005.” stated that it remained comfortable that 4th quarter
year-over-year growth rates for gross travel bookings, revenue, pro
forma gross profit and airline ticket, hotel room night and rental car
days unit sales, without giving effect to the acquisition of Active
Hotels, would be in line with the second half averages given in its
previous guidance issued in August.