Ctrip’s net income triples in Q1 on the back of equity investments

Counting out the gains from investments, profits were lower than in the same period last year.

China’s largest online travel agency Ctrip reported Thursday that it booked RMB 8.2 billion (USD 1.2 billion) in revenue in the first quarter of 2019, increasing 21% year-on-year.

The company said it made a net income of RMB 4.6 billion (USD 687 million), compared to a net income of RMB 1.1 billion in the same period in 2018 and a net loss of RMB 1.2 billion in the previous quarter. The whopping increase in profits was due to an RMB 3.3 billion gain from fair value changes in equity securities investments, gains from several investing activities, and the reversal of an investment provision made in previous years.

Its non-GAAP net income, an alternative indicator to measure a company’s profitability which excludes one-time items such as gains or losses from investments, was RMB 1.8 billion (USD 260 million), lower than the RMB 2.1 billion in the same period in 2018, said Ctrip.

The company highlighted its international business, which accounted for approximately 35% of total revenue, and its lower-tier cities business as bright spots.

Ctrip said that booking via Skyscanner, a global travel search site that it acquired in December 2016, increased 250% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2019, without providing detailed data. It added that its international hotel business and international air business (excluding the Skyscanner) grew twice as fast as the business from China outbound traffic in the same period, without deliberating, either.

It said it increased its presence in lower-tier cities in China in the first quarter as tourists’ staying nights at its self-branded low-star hotel rooms increased 60% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2019 and gross merchandise value of its offline stores experienced triple-digit year-over-year growth, without providing details.

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Editor: Nadine Freischlad