Chicago, November 7, 2012 - Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: OWW) today announced results for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2012.
“We had mixed results for the third quarter 2012. Our U.S. consumer business had a challenging quarter, but we have made solid progress resolving some of the underlying performance issues. The economic slowdown in Europe over the summer caused growth in Q3 stayed room nights at ebookers to decelerate, but on a booked basis we are already seeing recovery and reacceleration in key markets,” said Barney Harford, CEO, Orbitz Worldwide. “Our efforts to stem the decline in our HotelClub business are beginning to bear fruit. We were pleased to launch the American Express Consumer Travel Network partnership in the quarter and to see continued strength in our mobile channels.”
Third Quarter 2012 Financial Highlights
The company reported net income of $14.8 million or $0.14 per diluted share for the third quarter 2012 compared with net income of $11.2 million or $0.11 per diluted share for the third quarter 2011. Adjusted EBITDA was $39.8 million for the third quarter 2012, down two percent year over year.
Gross Bookings and Net Revenue
Gross bookings declined seven percent year over year at reported rates. On a constant currency basis, gross bookings were down five percent in the quarter, primarily driven by lower air volume, partially offset by higher vacation package and hotel volumes, higher air fares and a shift in air carrier mix.
Net revenue was $198.3 million for the third quarter 2012, down two percent year over year. On a constant currency basis, net revenue was flat in the quarter. Net revenue for the third quarter 2012 benefited from a $2.6 million non-cash reduction to the company's unfavorable contract liability following the negotiation of a new agreement with a supplier. Net revenue also benefited from higher volume for hotels and vacation packages and higher net revenue per airline ticket. Lower air volume and lower net revenue from car rentals and travel insurance offset these increases. Hotel net revenue, including hotels booked on a standalone basis and as part of a vacation package, represented 38 percent of the company's total net revenue for the trailing twelve months ended September 30, 2012, up 229 basis points from 36 percent for the trailing twelve months ended September 30, 2011.
• Standalone air net revenue was $61.9 million in the third quarter 2012, down three percent year over year. This decline was driven primarily by lower volume, partially offset by higher net revenue per airline ticket and a non-cash benefit recorded to air revenue in the third quarter 2012 to reduce an unfavorable contract liability.
• Standalone hotel net revenue was $61.2 million in the third quarter 2012, up four percent year over year. This increase was driven primarily by higher net revenue per room night.
• Vacation package net revenue increased three percent in the quarter to $33.4 million due primarily to higher volume for both the company's domestic leisure business and ebookers.
• Advertising and media revenue was $14.3 million in the third quarter 2012, flat year over year.
• Other net revenue, which is comprised primarily of car rental, cruise, destination services, travel insurance and airline hosting revenue, declined 17 percent year over year. This decline was driven primarily by lower car rental revenue and a Department of Transportation regulation that went into effect January 2012, which no longer allows travel insurance to be pre-selected on the company's domestic websites and resulted in reduced travel insurance attachment rates.
• In October 2012, Orbitz.com announced the launch of Orbitz en Español (www.orbitz.com/es), the only full-service Spanish-language travel website targeting the U.S. market. Orbitz en Español brings the great deals and choices for hotel rooms, airline tickets, vacation packages, car rentals and travel activities available on Orbitz.com to Spanish speaking travelers in the U.S. booking on computers and smartphones.
• In October 2012, Orbitz.com launched "Hotels by Orbitz" for Android, a powerful and fast native application that gives customers an intuitive search-and-book experience designed specifically for Android. The free app offers travelers helpful comparison tools, secure booking in just three taps and Orbitz Mobile Steals – exclusive, mobile-only discounts of up to 50 percent off hotel stays in over 240 popular destinations worldwide.
• In October 2012, Orbitz Worldwide was named the highest ranked full-service travel company in mobile commerce in Internet Retailer's Mobile 400, an annual guide that lists the mobile commerce sales of the largest retail companies in the U.S., Europe and Latin America. Orbitz Worldwide ranks number four overall in terms of projected 2012 mobile sales (behind Amazon, Apple and Marriott and ahead of Walmart) according to the list, but is number one among full service online travel companies, out-pacing all other mobile travel sites in a very competitive marketplace. Transactions coming through mobile channels, including smartphones and tablets, represented over 21 percent of Orbitz.com standalone hotel transactions for the third quarter 2012.
• In October 2012, "South America: Quest for Wonder," the first episode in award-winning travel journalist/producer Richard Bangs' "Quest Series," premiered on public television stations across the United States. Produced in partnership with Orbitz Worldwide, "South America: Quest for Wonder" is a groundbreaking integration of television and the web that takes viewers to geographic and cultural landmarks served by LAN Airlines and its affiliates, part of the LATAM Airlines Group, and inspires travelers with a rich library of adventure travel content that Richard Bangs created exclusively for Orbitz.com. Viewers can replicate the travel adventures seen on television through activities, packages, accommodations and flight arrangements available on Orbitz.com.
• In October 2012, Orbitz Worldwide launched a partnership with Brand USA in support of the nation's first global marketing effort to promote the United States as a premier travel destination. As part of this collaboration, ebookers – a member of the Orbitz Worldwide portfolio of consumer travel brands – launched an updated version of the award winning“ebookers Explorer” app for iPad that prominently features Brand USA sponsorship for all U.S. destinations and introduces new features designed specifically for the iOS 6 mobile operating system. Through the partnership, Orbitz Worldwide will provide significant in-kind media support to Brand USA – directly supporting Brand USA's marketing strategies to incrementally increase international visitation to the United States in order to support economic growth and job creation.
• During the third quarter 2012, ebookers launched new marketing initiatives, including television sponsorships, its first national outdoor ad campaign in Finland, and its “Travel Happier” campaign targeting the London audience and offering up to 50 percent off hotels. ebookers also launched “Cinétrip,” an online brand campaign in France providing visitors with cinema-inspired travel ideas through a partnership with AlloCiné, the world's largest cinema media and content database.
Private Label Distribution
• During the third quarter 2012, Orbitz Worldwide launched its partnership with American Express® under which Orbitz Worldwide now provides private label services to power air, car, hotel and vacation packages for the American Express Consumer Travel Network.
• Separately, in the third quarter 2012, Orbitz Worldwide and American Express® signed and began implementing a distribution agreement whereby Orbitz Worldwide will provide hotel inventory to select American Express-branded international websites.
• During the third quarter 2012, Orbitz Worldwide signed a new agreement with Loews Hotels, as well as partnership agreements with a number of regional hotel groups including Ascott International, SilverNeedle Hospitality, The Lungarno Collection in Italy, Q Hotels in the United Kingdom, THB Hotels in Spain, Windsor Hotels in Brazil and Belambra Clubs in France, among others.
• During the third quarter 2012, Orbitz Worldwide signed a multi-year distribution agreement with US Airways, giving Orbitz.com, CheapTickets and Orbitz for Business customers access to their fares, schedules and inventory. As part of the agreement, Orbitz Worldwide will make US Airways ChoiceSeats product available to its customers.
• During the third quarter 2012, Orbitz Worldwide entered into a multi-year extension with Frontier Airlines. As part of the agreement, Orbitz Worldwide will offer Frontier's Classic and Classic Plus fares to customers.
• During the third quarter 2012, ebookers signed a multi-year distribution agreement with Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, giving ebookers customers access to Dollar and Thrifty rates and inventory.
• During the third quarter 2012, Orbitz Worldwide signed partner marketing contracts with a number of destination marketing organizations including Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions, Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, Cook Islands Tourism, Myrtle Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, St. Kitts and Nevis Tourism Board, South African Tourism, Huntington Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, Maine Tourism, Illinois Tourism Board and Tourism Australia.
For the fourth quarter 2012, the company expects:
• Net revenue in the range of $183 million to $189 million; and
• Adjusted EBITDA between $32 million and $37 million.
For the full year 2012, the above guidance implies:
• Net revenue in the range of $772 million to $778 million; and
• Adjusted EBITDA between $124.5 million and $129.5 million.
This outlook assumes foreign exchange rates as of October 31, 2012.