With speculation of a sale in the air, Tripadvisor reports record revenue driven – again – by Viator


Two days after announcing it
has created a special committee and retained a mergers and acquisition advisory
firm
, Tripadvisor reported an all-time high for revenue in 2023 led by a
49% growth in revenue for its Viator segment. 

The company’s fourth quarter and full year 2023 earnings statement
did not make any mention of the fact Liberty Tripadvisor Holdings, which has a
controlling interest in Tripadvisor, indicated in an SEC filing that it has
received an offer to acquire outstanding shares of both Liberty Tripadvisor and
Tripadvisor for cash, taking Tripadvisor private. 

Tripadvisor’s call to review the earnings report with
analysts is Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. EST, and this story will be updated as
necessary after that. 

Revenue for Tripadvisor for the year was $1.78 billion, up
20% compared with 2022, and $390 million in Q4, up 10% compared with the same
period last year. The company’s adjusted
EBITDA was $334 million for 2023 – up 13% year over year – and $84 million in
the fourth quarter, up 95% quarter over quarter.

“In addition to growing our revenue more than 10% higher
than our previous peak, we have diversified our portfolio, with experiences now
delivering more than 40% of our revenue, as we continue to drive our
transformation at Tripadvisor, market leadership at Viator and profitable
growth at TheFork,” said Matt Goldberg, Tripadvisor CEO.

“During the year we made significant progress executing on our strategic goals
at each of our brands, positioning us to build momentum as we begin the new
fiscal year and fortify the important position we hold in travel and
experiences.”

Viator’s revenue for the year was $737 million – up 49%
compared with 2022 and up as a percentage of Tripadvisor’s total revenue from 33% in 2022 to more
than 40% last year. In Q4, Viator’s revenue was $161 million – a 27% increase compared with Q4 2022.

Viator’s gross bookings value came in at $720 million for
the fourth quarter and adjusted EBITDA was $15 million, compared with a loss in
Q4 2022 of $3 million. 

“We exited the year with solid financial results, delivering
fourth quarter revenue of $390 million, reflecting year-over year growth of
10%,” said chief financial officer Mike Noonan. “Adjusted EBITDA of $84 million, or 22% of revenue, came in better than
expected due to favorable channel mix and disciplined marketing spend. In 2024, we will continue to prioritize our
segment strategies, which focus on long-term growth and profitability.”

Brand Tripadvisor, formerly known as Tripadvisor Core, was
nearly up 7% for revenue for the year – from $966 million to $1 billion – and nearly
flat for the quarter – up $1 million to $218 million.

The segment’s revenue from “experiences and dining” led the
way with annual revenue of $176 million, up 31% for the year, and quarterly
revenue of $38 million, up 12% compared with Q4 2022.

Branded hotels revenue was nearly flat for the year, up just
1% to $659 million, while in the quarter revenue from branded hotels dropped 4%
compared with Q4 the year prior.

“During the fourth quarter, the decline in branded hotels
revenue was primarily a result of our European hotel meta offering,” the company’s statement said. “Within
branded hotels, during the full year 2023, growth in the hotel B2B offering was
mostly offset by declines in the hotel meta offering. Hotel meta performance,
during the full year 2023, was impacted primarily by declines in Europe, which
more than offset growth in Rest of World.”

Brand Tripadvisor’s media and advertising revenue for the
fourth quarter was $35 million, reflecting year-over-year growth of 6%, and
media and advertising revenue for the full year was $145 million, reflecting year-over-year
growth of 12%.

Tripadvisor’s selling and marketing costs in 2023 were $940
million, an increase of 20% year over year but still 53% of consolidated
revenue. For the fourth quarter, selling and marketing costs were $179 million,
a decrease of 8% compared with Q4 2022.


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