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There was good news and bad news in Priceline’s room night growth for the fourth quarter and full year 2013.
Room nights booked increased a whopping 36.5% in the fourth quarter, besting Expedia Inc.’s 25% growth.
But for full-year 2013, Priceline saw its room night growth decelerate to 37%, from 40% room night growth in 2012.
Priceline officials have warned for a couple of years that its room night growth would slow, based on the size of its business, and it finally happened in 2013, but not dramatically.
“The Group’s full year room night reservations of 271 million grew by 37%, as compared with 40% in 2012, reflecting only modest deceleration on a large scale business,” said Darren Huston, who took over as CEO of the Priceline Group on January 1.
Although Priceline grew its room nights faster than Expedia in the fourth quarter, Expedia reigned supreme as king of the hill in gross bookings for 2013. Priceline’s gross bookings for full year 2013 increased 37.7% to $39.2 billion, while Expedia’s for the same period were $39.44 billion, topping Priceline’s but growing at a slower pace, 16%.
For the fourth quarter, Priceline saw its net income rise 30.8% to $378 million on revenue of $1.54 billion, a 30.8% jump.