The business travel recovery has “reached a pivotal moment”, according to American Express GBT as it reported that transactions reached 72% of pre-pandemic levels in the last three weeks of April.
Announcing the company’s financial results for the first quarter, CEO Paul Abbott said: “With the strong momentum in business travel recovery, new wins and our commitment to providing unrivalled value, choice and experiences to our customers, we are confident we are very well positioned for our next phase of growth.”
The TMC, , which is due to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange towards the end of this month, said SME transaction recovery in the last three weeks of April reached 80% of 2019 levels, driven by the stronger recovery and new wins.
It said the value of pro forma new wins over the last 12 months through the end of April increased to $3.9 billion, representing 10% of 2019. These included Honda Motors Europe, Novum, Raytheon Technologies and Ferrero Group. Meanwhile, customer retention rate remained strong at 95%.
Pointing out that the results include Egencia, which it acquired in November 2021, Amex GBT said revenue increased $224 million, or 179%, versus the same period in 2021.
Within this, travel revenue increased $194 million, or 318%, primarily due to transactions growth of 382% driven by inclusion of Egencia’s transactions and the recovery in travel from the Covid-19 pandemic, partially offset by lower yield.
Product and professional services revenue increased $30 million, or 45%, due to increased management fees and meetings and events revenue as relaxed Covid restrictions drove increased business meetings.
Pro forma for the acquisition of Egencia, total first quarter 2022 revenue increased 132% from the first quarter of 2021.
Total operating expense rose $191 million, or 75%, mainly due to the inclusion of Egencia’s operating costs alongside increased cost of revenue to support the rise in the volume of transactions, increased investments in technology, content, sales, and marketing, and higher general and administrative costs.
Net loss improved $23 million, mainly due to a decrease in operating loss partially offset by higher interest expense.
Adjusted EBITDA improved by $62 million, mainly thanks to revenue growth partially offset by increased Adjusted Operating Expenses.
Pro forma for the acquisition of Egencia, Adjusted EBITDA improved by $129 million year on year.
“We continue to see strong momentum in the business travel recovery,” said Martine Gerow, Amex GBT Chief Financial Officer.
“We are gaining share with strong new wins performance and continued momentum with SME customers.
“We remain on track to deliver significant Egencia synergies and permanent cost reductions. Combined, this gives us confidence to raise our full year 2022 guidance and gives us further confidence we are on track to meet our 2023 forecast.”