Driven by international meta search and travel product innovationMomondo Group Ltd, the travel search pioneer (formerly Cheapflights Media Ltd), today reports its Q1 results for the three months to March 31 2014.
Momondo Group total revenues in Q1 increased by more than 29% to £14.5 million, driven by product innovation, an international marketing push and a successful product launch pipeline, which has seen the roll-out of a series of new apps, mobile-optimised services and country-specific sites in Europe and Asia-Pacific over the past 12 months.
The London-based group, which bought and invested in Copenhagen-based travel meta technology company momondo in 2011, has seen explosive international growth, with more than 84% of group revenues now generated outside the UK – and a global footprint taking in more than 20 languages.
Overseas growth and expansion has been the engine of transformational change, driving international revenue up 163% in Q1 2014 – with stand-out performances in the Nordics (83%), Russia (138%), Western Europe (142%) and the US (125%). Further underpinning this, new dedicated site launches in the last 12 months have included Ireland, Poland, Ukraine, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The Cheapflights portfolio also performed well, maintaining strong profitability to pay down the debt used to purchase and invest in momondo. Traffic across the sites – taking in the core markets of UK, US, Canada and Australia – continues to grow. Cheapflights.com.au showed the fastest year-on-year growth in visits (+36%) establishing itself as a top ten travel website in Australia in 2013 – mirroring the performance of its Cheapflights.co.uk business that is already established in the UK top ten. Cheapflights is also a top 20 player in both Canada and the US – and the largest European online travel player in the United States.
The Group is looking to further build on this success by developing its international footprint in the coming year, targeting expansion in South America and Asia, alongside further build-out of its European business.
As well as expanding its geographical presence, the Group continues to invest in innovative new applications and channels. Today, 40% of Cheapflights’ visits come from mobile devices – with traffic from this channel growing at 40% per annum.
momondo has also expanded its mobile offer, with its flight search product available as an app for iOS, Android and now Blackberry; recording 3.5 million downloads across the portfolio. Its core flights app now includes the pioneering Friend Compass, which synchronises with users’ Facebook accounts to enable them to find the cheapest flights to wherever their friends live around the world. This is complemented by momondo places, a free city guide app that enables users to discover the places locals would recommend with a colour wheel that allows users to tailor a guide according to the way they feel – whether social; fancy; cultural; family; local or romantic.
The company expects to roll out a series of new mobile applications and big-data driven search products as part of its “Tech & Visiona Hub” product pipeline over the next 6-12 months, building on the success of its award-winning Flight Insight tool, which enables users to look behind the factors that influence airline ticket pricing.
To support its continued growth the company has already expanded its headcount by 34% over the past year from 150 to 200 across its main operations in London, Copenhagen and Boston. Looking forward, the Group expects at least a double-digit percentage increase in headcount in the areas of marketing and software development in the coming year to support the roll out of new products and services and underpin continued growth.
Hugo Burge, CEO of Momondo Group, said: “2013 was a tipping point for the Group and the strong numbers for the first quarter of this year reflect our focus on investing for long-term growth. Consistent with this, our momondo unit has shown triple-digit growth year-on-year – with our established Cheapflights business continuing to deliver impressive returns.”
“We will build on this strong first quarter by continuing to develop genuinely insightful, innovative travel search tools that deliver clear consumer benefits – as well as investing heavily in international growth. We’re looking forward to revealing further innovative eye-opening products this year and expanding into new markets; sharing our expertise to help people find cheap flights and best-fit travel options."
Alan Martin, CFO of Momondo Group, added: “We have spent the last two years investing in and building our momondo unit; this is now bearing fruit in both product and revenue terms, with successful diversification into new areas such as hotels. Strong cash generation has allowed us to support this investment at the same time as paying down our debt. Profitability also continues to improve, with Q1 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation 32% ahead of the prior year at £3.2 million.”
“These results herald the next phase of our growth strategy as we look to further build market share in Europe, Asia and further afield. This is a dynamic business, built on innovation – but we operate in a fast-moving sector and remain committed to driving expansion; investing for growth in 2014 and beyond.”