Indian travel operator MakeMyTrip reports $20.3M Q4 loss

Travel booking site operator lost US$20.3 million in its fourth quarter, but is confident of continuing recent efforts to increase its share of the lucrative hotels and packages business.

Nasdaq-listed Indian travel booking Web site MakeMyTrip reported a US$20.3 million loss in the three months ended March 31, 2013. However, it is confident of capitalizing on the more profitable hotels and packages (H&P) side of its business as it looks to achieve its fiscal year 2014 earnings target of US$106 million.

According to its quarterly earnings filing Wednesday, the company said a major contributor the loss reported was due to a US$10.5 million tax expense booked for the quarter. By contrast, it booked a profit of US$6.2 million in the same quarter last year, helped in part by a US$6 million tax dividend, it stated.

Its revenues for the quarter rose to US$55.2 million though, and this is better than the US$47 million generated in the same quarter last year, it pointed out.

This was helped by the increased sales of H&P bookings which increased by 60.2 percent to US$40.1 million. The business was bolstered by the acquisition of Hotel Travel Group and ITC Group in the previous quarter, it added.
However, air ticket sales decreased by 32.6 percent to US$14.1 million, primarily because of a drop in commissions from airlines.
On a conference call Wednesday, founder and CEO Deep Kalra reiterated the company's three strategic initiatives: higher margin businesses; investing in acquisitions and marketing; and backend automation and developing mobile applications.
He highlighted how MakeMyTrip's hotels and packages business constituted 31 percent of its overall revenue, growing from 21 percent the previous year.
"Given the transactions growth momentum experienced in H&P, we are confident of our ability to further shift the net revenue mix in favor of H&P over time, as we continue to bring the nascent hotel market in India online and fill up in Southeast Asia," Kalra said.
With its strategy, the company had projected earnings of between US$101 million and US$106 million for the fiscal year 2014.