Trip posts profit as domestic travel recovers

Zhu Shenshen
Shanghai-based company says China's domestic travel business is showing "strong recovery momentum" with international tourism expected to recover soon.
Zhu Shenshen, formerly Ctrip, posted a net profit of 1 billion yuan (US$156 million) for last year’s fourth quarter, the second quarter of profitability since the coronavirus outbreak, China’s biggest travel agency said on Thursday.

The domestic travel business had shown a “strong recovery momentum” and international tourism is expected to recover as more people are vaccinated and the weather gets warmer, the Nadaq-listed company said.

Trip’s fourth-quarter profit compared with 2 billion yuan a year ago. Revenue in the quarter was 5 billion yuan, a 40 percent decrease from the previous year ago, but narrowing from the decrease of 48 percent in the previous quarter, according to the Shanghai-based company. 

"2020 was a challenging year,” James Liang, executive chairman, said in a statement, "while at the same time, we remain ambitious with a global vision to drive our sustainable growth post pandemic.”

Investment bank Piper Jaffray has upgraded Trip’s target price to US$47 from the previous target of US$40, compared with its current price of US$39.8.

The global tourism industry faces a total loss of US$1.3 trillion in 2020 because of the pandemic, according to media reports. 

For the full year of 2020, Trip’s revenue reached 18.3 billion yuan with a gross merchandise value of 395 billion, ranking No. 1 in the world. GMV is an index measuring business for Internet service providers.

The company noted a booming demand for domestic air travel and hotel accommodation, with high-end hotel sales enjoying “double-digit” growth.

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