People are traveling more, according to Priceline’s President and CEO Darren Huston — that’s leading to better results not just for his booking company, but also for the entire travel industry.
Total profit for the Norwalk, Conn., -based company last quarter was $1.9 billion, a 36% jump from the same quarter in 2013. That number was supported by increased activity in many of the services Priceline (PCLN) provides: A 19% – 29% in total gross travel bookings. A 10% – 15% in domestic travel bookings. 90 million total nights of room bookings, a 29% increase.
Two recently announced partnerships were highlighted in the earnings release, as well. First, Priceline’s investment of $500 million in Ctrip, a Chinese travel booking service. This is expected to further allow Priceline to get its foot in the international market, which could be a serious boon to its earnings in future quarters.
Second was the acquisition in June of OpenTable, the restaurant booking site and mobile app. Priceline spent $2.6 billion on the company, which allows it to expand its business into other elements of hospitality.
The two deals represent both vertical and horizontal growth for Priceline.