The post-pandemic era is coming. Is the travel market on track for a revival?
On March 21, Tongcheng Travel (Chinese: 同程旅行, 0790: HK) announced its fourth-quarter and full-year audited consolidated results for 2022. According to the report, Tongcheng Travel achieved revenue of CNY 6.58 billion, which narrowed by 12.6% year-to-year from CNY 7.54 billion in 2021.
The company also reported an adjusted EBITDA of CNY 1.44 billion, a decrease of 24.6% year-to-year from CNY 1.91 billion in 2021, and an adjusted net profit of CNY 646 million, a decrease of 50.6% from CNY 1.3 billion on a yearly basis. Meanwhile, the average MAUs (monthly active users) dropped 9.0% year-to-year from 256.9 million in 2021 to 233.8 million in 2022.
Tongcheng Travel stated that the double-digit decline in both revenue and net profit in 2022 continues to show the negative impacts caused by the pandemic. Still, the company achieved outstanding business performance and received notable market recognition.
In 2022, the number of APUs (annual paying users) reached 190 million, up 23% from 2019. With the increasing online booking rate of Chinese travelers and the structural changes in consumer demand, Tongcheng Travel quickly captures the opportunity and penetrates its service scene into lower-tier markets.
Ma Heping, CEO of Tongcheng Travel, expressed great confidence in business in the post-pandemic era. He said: "Entering 2023, people's enthusiasm for travel is improving significantly, and pent-up travel demand is being greatly released. So we will further increase investment in the lower-tier markets and supply side. At the same time, we will continue to provide users with the ultimate travel experience, create greater value for partners, and contribute to constructing a better society."
According to the report, in the past three years, Tongcheng Travel has maintained a steady development of its business by relying on its core development strategy, flexible and efficient operation strategy and deep exploration of the tourism supply chain, which has laid a solid foundation for the company to grasp the opportunities of an industry rebound in the post-pandemic era and the transformation from OTA (online travel agent) to ITA (intelligent travel assistant).
Its competitors include Ctrip (TCOM:NASDAQ; 9961:HK), Fliggy, Meituan, etc. As of press time, it closed at HKD 16.68 apiece, with a market cap of HKD 37.43 billion.