Booking Holdings beats profit estimates on strong summer travel spend

(This Nov. 2 story has been corrected to change the day of the week in paragraph 1)

(Reuters) – Booking Holdings on Thursday reported a better-than-expected profit for the third quarter, as the online agency benefited from robust travel demand through the summer.

Travel operators in the last few months have seen a strong rebound in international travel as consumers took advantage of a strong dollar, flexible work arrangements and fewer mandates to vacation overseas.

The pent-up demand for travel has also helped companies offset rising costs and concerns around an uncertain economy.

Booking’s expenses rose 22% in the reported quarter on higher marketing and personnel spend.

The company reported gross travel bookings, which refers to the total dollar value of travel services booked by customers, of $39.8 billion, up 24% from a year ago. Room nights booked rose 15% compared to the prior year.

“We are encouraged by the resilience of leisure travel demand, and we remain focused on executing against our key strategic priorities, which helps position our business well for the long term,” said CEO Glenn Fogel.

Booking, whose biggest market is Europe, posted an adjusted profit of $72.32 per share in the July-to-September period, beating analysts’ estimates of $67.61, as per LSEG data.

Its revenues rose 21% to $7.3 billion, coming above analysts’ estimates of $7.26 billion.

(Reporting by Priyamvada C and Ananta Agarwal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)