Global travel technology company Sabre recently reported its fourth quarter and full year 2016 financial results. Full year revenue growth was 14 percent, and full year adjusted EBITDA increased 11 percent. Sabre’s growing software solutions business broke the US$1 billion revenue mark for the first time.
“In 2016, we delivered a year of strong growth across all of our businesses”, said new CEO Sean Menke who assumed the role of Sabre president and CEO on December 31, 2016.
Fourth quarter revenue and adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased 9 percent, driven in part by global bookings strength that began in October and continued throughout the quarter in Sabre’s business segment Travel Network, a global travel marketplace that connects more than 425,000 travel agents in more than 160 countries with airlines, hotels, car hire, cruise lines, tour operators and other travel suppliers across the world.
Sabre’s business segment Airline and Hospitality Solutions, which provide technology software solutions to the global airline and hospitality industries, also showed continued strong growth.
According to Sabre, Travel Network revenue grew 7.1 percent in the fourth quarter and 12.9 percent for the full year. Continued growth in every region of the world contributed to 5.2 percent bookings growth in the fourth quarter. Global booking share was 37.1 percent in 2016.
“Travel Network delivered key agency conversions and increased global share. Airline and Hospitality Solutions executed key implementations, resulting in strong overall revenue, profit and cash flow growth”, said Menke.
Airline and Hospitality Solutions revenue improved 15 percent in the fourth quarter and 16.9 percent for the full year. Contributing to the rise in revenue was a 34.9 percent increase in airline passengers boarded through the SabreSonic reservation solution in 2016, which was boosted in the fourth quarter by the addition of Alitalia.
Sabre Hospitality Solutions also demonstrated strong growth in 2016 with a 41.1 percent increase in revenue, driven by continued successful implementations for Wyndham Hotel Group and bringing its Ramada brand onto Sabre’s SynXis Central Reservations system in the quarter.
“We expect 2017 to see growth in Travel Network underpinned by anticipated global demand and a positive environment for travel”, said Menke.
He added that Sabre will accelerate investment in its core technology infrastructure this year, to further modernize and enhance the efficiency, stability and security of its technology platforms for the future.
Sabre will soon launch a new Sabre Red Workspace platform for travel agents, which will provide innovative analytics and tools to help its agency customers grow their business. The new platform is expected to lead to more agency conversions.
U.S.-based Sabre is headquartered in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth region of Texas and processes more than US$120 billion of travel spend annually, serving customers in more than 160 countries around the world. It has nearly 10,000 employees globally.