Expedia’s loss bigger than feared as Covid-19 resurgence hits travel

Online travel agency Expedia Group Inc posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss on Thursday as bookings slumped following a global resurgence in COVID-19 infections and renewed lockdowns.

U.S. travel and hospitality industries, among the worst hit by the health crisis, are also threatened by newly emerging and faster-spreading variants of the novel coronavirus.

Expedia said fourth-quarter gross bookings slumped 67% to $7.57 billion.

“The fourth quarter brought signs of hope in the form of vaccine approvals, but rising cases across the globe and rolling shutdowns of various travel markets made an impact,” said Chief Executive Peter Kern.

Net loss attributable to the company was $412 million, or $2.89 per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a profit of $76 million, or 52 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company lost $2.64 per share, compared with analysts’ average estimate of a $1.99 loss per share, according to Refinitiv data.

Revenue fell 66.5% to $920 million, missing estimates of $1.12 billion.

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