Booking tops Q1 profit estimates on robust international travel demand

(Reuters) -Booking Holdings beat Wall Street estimates for first-quarter profit on Thursday, as strong demand for international travel offset moderating leisure travel demand in the U.S.

Shares of the online travel agency were up 5.25% after the bell.

Travelers are flocking to international destinations in Asia and the Middle East as global air connectivity improves and drives up international travel demand, which is expected to remain strong this year even as demand for domestic travel in North America plateaus.

Gross travel bookings were at $43.5 billion, an increase of 10% from last year, while room nights booked increased 9%.

“The higher-than-expected room night growth was driven by… healthy underlying demand with better-than-expected performance in Europe and less of a negative impact from the war in the Middle East than expected,” said CFO Ewout Steenbergen on an analyst call.

The Norwalk, Connecticut-based company reported a quarterly adjusted profit of $20.39 per share, compared with analysts’ estimate of $14.06 per share.

Total quarterly revenue was $4.41 billion, up 17% from a year earlier. Analysts on average were expecting a revenue of $4.25 billion, according to LSEG data.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Jain; Editing by Pooja Desai)