Thursday, November 11, 2010

Agoda 2010 turnover ~$500mm. Combined Booking and Agoda doing $780mm per year

Back in March I shared with you a report from Citigroup which (at the time) gave us the only real insight into the turnover of Priceline's Agoda. That report estimated the 2009 gross bookings for Agoda to have been US$244mm. Citi projected that 2010 gross bookings would be US$433mm

Previous efforts to trawl for comments or numbers about Agoda in earnings release transcripts resulted in very little (see here and here).

At the Q3 earnings release (see seeking:alpha transcript here) Priceline CEO Jeff Boyd had a lot more to say about the performance of Agoda. He told the meeting the the combined turnover of and Agoda in AsiaPacifc was ~U$780m for the 12 months to 30 September. His exact quote was
I want to provide on a one-time basis some data on our progress in new markets to help size their contribution to our international results. and Agoda have made excellent progress in building the Group’s business in the Asia Pacific region. The combined business of Agoda plus’s business for APAC destinations was approximately $780 million for the 12 months ended September 30, and the third quarter gross rate for that business was just shy of a 150%.
Note - that is the combined turnover, not Agoda on it's own. He went on to say that
Agoda continues to build its business in the Asian region and again reported triple digit year-over-year growth in gross bookings, contributing to the overall international and merchant growth we are reporting. The business has performed well following civil unrest in Thailand and is well positioned for its seasonally important fourth quarter
Also note that in the Q&A section CFO Dan Finnegan stated that there was not real difference in the numbers/turnover from a point of sale or destination basis he said
the point-of-sales businesses [for APAC] is a comparable size and growing in impressive rates. And when you think about the Asian business to the extent that includes business for Agoda, that’s it’s whole business which is point-of-sale Agoda business. Most of that is Asian but it’s the whole business.
If we match the three data points of Citi's estimate for 2009 results, Boyd on the combined Agoda and Booking number and Boyd on Agoda's growth rates then it looks like Agoda is on track for closer to a $500mm 2010 turnover level rather than the Citi estimated $433.

In a separate note we also read that Agoda CEO Michael Kenny was leaving the business to be replaced by Robert Rosenstein (the current COO). I presume (though don't know for sure) that his departure is connected to the fact that November marks the third anniversary of the purchase of Agoda by Priceline and therefore the end of the earn out period.

With the earn out over we can likely expect to see much greater levels of integration between Booking and Agoda (first pieces seen here in January).

Like to know more? Check out the full earnings transcript on seeking:alpaha or Dennis Schaal's recent post at Tnooz

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