The Priceline Group still outpaced Expedia Inc. in global hotel room night growth in the third quarter despite Expedia’s Travelocity partnership .
Priceline’s room nights sold grew 27% in the third quarter to 95 million, the company reported today, while Expedia last week pegged its third quarter room night growth at 24% — with 4 percentage points of Expedia’s jump attributed to its partnership to power Travelocity’s websites in North America.
When it comes to global hotel and accommodation supply, the Priceline Group has an even larger advantage. Priceline’s Booking.com offered 540,000 hotels, vacation rentals and other lodging types in the third quarter, a 52% year over year jump, compared with 365,000 for Expedia Inc.
In the tale of the tape, the Priceline Group was the larger company marginally in gross bookings, increasing them 28% to $13.8 billion in the third quarter while Expedia Inc.’s gross bookings, which are the full value for travel sold, climbed 29% to $13.46 billion.
Expedia’s net income grew much faster than the Priceline Group’s in the third quarter, but the Priceline Group’s profits were larger.
The Priceline Group’s net income increased 27.5% to nearly $1.1 billion while Expedia’s profits jumped a whopping 50% to $257.1 million.
The takeaway from the comparisons is that the Priceline Group still has the major advantages in growing its business at scale, but Expedia is much more formidable competitor than it was a couple of years ago.