Skift Take

Online travel agencies in Europe are competing on price. There's a novel idea. Competing on more than price has been a well-worn rallying cry, but often doesn't seem to work.

Bravofly Rumbo Group, a Swiss travel website, fell to the lowest price in Zurich since its April initial public offering after the company said it faced a “sudden” increase in competition in its main markets.

The shares fell as much as 11 percent, declining a fifth day. Smaller competitors became aggressive on prices in the second quarter, the Chiasso-based company said in a statement. Bravofly said it plans to update investors on business conditions July 28, ahead of half-year results scheduled for Sept. 16.

Bravofly, whose founders include the Agnelli family and Ardian, the private-equity firm formerly known as AXA Private Equity, competes with EDreams Odigeo. The Spanish online-travel company earlier this month warned that competition would weigh on profit margins.

Bravofly said that while the market is “complex,” historically pricing in its main markets has shown “strong resilience.”

The stock traded 8.1 percent lower at 28.80 Swiss francs at 12:27 p.m. in Zurich. The shares were sold at 48 francs each in the IPO.

The Swiss company’s site is used to arrange flights, cruises, hotels and car rentals. The company said it plans to use the proceeds from the IPO for acquisitions and to expand geographically to compete with more-established companies such as Expedia Inc.

“Bravofly Rumbo Group has been operating in a competitive industry since its start,” Chairman Fabio Cannavale said in a statement. “We continue to be well positioned.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Jan-Henrik Förster in Zurich at [email protected] To contact the editors responsible for this story: Mariajose Vera at [email protected] Thomas Mulier, David Risser

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Tags: bravofly, edreams Odigeo, otas

Photo credit: Bravofly executed an IPO in April 2014, but now its shares are falling as it faces increased competition from sites such as Edreams Odigeo. Bravofly

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