Booking Holdings suffers Q2 loss

NORWALK, USA, 9 August 2021: Online travel agency Booking Holdings reported a net loss of USD167 million in the second quarter of 2021, compared with a net income of USD122 million during the same period in 2020.

The company’s results for the three and six months ended 30 June 2021 and 2020 have been significantly and negatively impacted due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting economic conditions and government restrictions.

Booking Holdings’ total revenues for the second quarter of 2021 were USD2.2 billion, a 243% increase from the prior year quarter (approximately 229% increase on a constant-currency basis).

Revenues rebounded in the second quarter mainly due to strong demand in the US and Europe to book holidays that had been on hold for more than a year.

The results for the second quarter of 2021 and 2020 include net gains of USD391 million and USD835 million, respectively, on equity securities with readily determinable fair values.

The total dollar value, inclusive of taxes and fees, of all travel services booked by its customers, after deducting cancellations, reached USD22.0 billion, an increase of 852% from the prior-year quarter (approximately 802% increase on a constant-currency basis). Room nights booked in the second quarter increased 458% from the prior-year quarter.

Additionally, in the second quarter of 2021, the company recorded a loss on early extinguishment of debt of USD242 million. In June 2021, the company announced its intention to voluntarily return

assistance received through various government aid programmes and recorded expenses of USD137 million in the second quarter of 2021 to reflect the return of such assistance. During the second quarter of 2020, the company recognized a benefit of USD100 million related to the government aid programmes.

Net loss in the second quarter of 2021 was USD4.08 per diluted common share, compared with net income per diluted common share of USD2.97 in the second quarter of 2020.

Non-GAAP net loss in the second quarter of 2021 was USD105 million or USD2.55 per diluted common share, a 76% decrease compared to the prior-year quarter.

Non-GAAP net loss includes adjustments to exclude net gains on equity securities with readily determinable fair values in both periods and a loss on early extinguishment of debt in the second quarter of 2021. Adjusted EBITDA for the second quarter of 2021 was USD48 million, compared with an adjusted EBITDA loss of USD376 million in the second quarter of 2020.

“We are encouraged by another quarter of meaningful sequential improvement in booking trends with second-quarter room nights increasing 59% versus the first quarter of 2021, primarily driven by stronger results in Europe and the US,” said Booking Holding chief executive officer Glenn Fogel.

“We remain focused on strengthening our core accommodation business and driving benefits to our travellers and our accommodation supply partners alike. In addition, we continue to execute against our strategic priorities, including our Connected Trip vision, which we believe will further enhance our core accommodation business.”

Company shares are down 6% for the year but rose nearly 4% in aftermarket trading on a smaller adjusted quarterly loss, helped by vaccine rollouts and easing travel restrictions, a Reuters report concluded.