By Anita Kobylinska
-Spanish travel booking group Amadeus returned to profit in the third quarter after more than a year of quarterly losses, it said on Friday, citing a pick-up in flight bookings after pandemic-related travel restrictions eased.
The company made adjusted net profit of 23.8 million euros ($27.51 million) in the third quarter compared with a 125 million euro loss in the same period a year ago. Its free cash flow turned positive, with an inflow of about 84 million euros.
However, the net profit was below analysts’ average forecast of 38.8 million euros, according to Refintiv, and Amadeus shares were down 2.7% in early trade.
Amadeus’s slide into the red in the second quarter of 2020 was its first quarterly loss in a decade as the pandemic grounded airliners around the world.
The company, which operates the world’s largest travel booking system and offers check-in services and other IT solutions for airports and airlines, is almost fully dependent on international air traffic.
It said it continued to see an uptick in the number of travelling passengers, as air bookings jumped more than four times in the third quarter from the same period a year ago.
The number of reservations made through Amadeus’s distribution platforms, however, was still 59% below 2019 levels.
“Looking at the rest of the year, we are confident that our commercial momentum, along with the upward trend in travel volumes, will allow us to maintain this positive progression towards recovery,” Chief Executive Luis Maroto said.
Domestic travel is expected to recover to 93% of the pre-pandemic level in 2022, a 20 percentage points improvement from this year, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in October.
The industry body expects international travel demand to double next year and reach 44% of the 2019 levels.
($1 = 0.8651 euros)