Meta is the place for Expedia – Trivago doubled its revenue in just one year

Ever wondered why the online travel agency giants decided to take metasearch so seriously?

One reason, presumably, is that the likes of Expedia and Priceline could see that the sector was on the cusp of some significant growth.

In terms of acquisitions, Priceline invested the most, as we all know, with a massive $1.8 billion splashed out to get its hands on US giant Kayak in November 2012.

Expedia followed suit just a few weeks later with a deal to buy a majority stake in European brand Trivago for $632 million.

Two years on from flurry of activity, Expedia is perhaps starting to some kind of return on its investment.

In a filing today to the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US, Expedia has outlined a recasting of its financials for both 2013 and 2014 due to a change in how it will report across its various segments.

The company is now divided into four areas:

  • Core OTA (Expedia, Hotwire, Travelocity, Venere, Wotif)
  • Trivago
  • Egencia
  • eLong

The filing then goes on to break down the revenue and other financial reporting lines for each segment, with the Trivago division perhaps catching the eye.

Trivago took $216 million in revenue during 2013, but this figure jumped to $414 million by the end of 2014.

This has come at a cost, however, with adjusted EBITDA at Trivago falling from $18 million to $4 million over the same period.

To compare against another part of the business, Core OTA took $4.069 billion in revenue in 2013 and $4.905 billion in 2014, with adjusted EBITDA climbing from $1.172 billion to $1.387 billion over the same period.

The huge jump in revenue at Trivago could be, in part, down to the massive investment in advertising across the group during 2014 when $2.8 billion was spent on marketing.

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.



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  1. Adriano

    Good article Kevin. Trivago sure is a drag on EXPE earnings. It has been since the purchase, and will continue to be a drag as long as EXPE continues with their massive ad campaign to support it. Kayak, was profitable when it was purchased, and continues to be profitable today. With new Metasearch competitors sprouting up like mushrooms (momondo, kayak, hotelscombined, etc.) , one has to question the value of this massive advertising push from Expedia. To be sure, the fast pace of revenue growth in Trevago is attributable to loss making advertising, and not to any underlying baseline growth in metasearch.

    • Mihai

      So many wrong assumptions Adriano, don’t know where to start. Actually everything you said in your comment is the opposite in reality.

  2. Bir patricia

    Could you explain me in which area is Orbitz? What is Elong ?
    How work Egencia?
    Who / what is in travelocity except Lastminute ?

    • Kevin May

      Kevin May

      @bir – Orbitz is US, eLong is a Chinese OTA, Egencia is a corp travel agency, Lastminute is no longer part of Travelocity (now owned by Bravofly).

  3. Glenn Wallace

    I assume would be in the core OTA area?

  4. Elie Messo

    How much of the $2.8 billion marketing was spent by Trivago?


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