Yatra lifts marketing spend by 46% in a year

Yatra.com has reported its full-year results to end-March, confirming that it is growing strongly in volume terms while finding it difficult to rein in costs and losses.

Its financial year runs April-March, slightly out of synch with other B2C travel brands, although India’s other Nasdaq-listed OTA MakeMyTrip has the same year. Its results for the same period are out later this week.

During the year, the growth in volume terms for Yatra is strong. Air booking are up 20.6% at 6.9 million; room nights are up 21.4% at 1.4 million and package travellers up 9.8% at 143,000.

Revenue less service cost from air increased by 27.1% to INR 3.7 billion ($57 million). Net revenue margin is up from 5.8% to 6.4%, “due to better volume based deals negotiated with the airlines and higher fixed fee on comparatively lower air ticket prices.”

The financial performance from hotels and packages was weak in comparison.  Revenue less service cost for this segment increased by 7.4% to INR 1.1 billion ($17.4 million) although the net revenue margin dropped from 10.9% to 10.8%.

Revenue less service cost is the metric of choice, in terms of the guidance it gives the markets. For the year to end-March this came in at INR 5.2 billion ($80.4 million), up 23.6% and “exceeding the high end” of what it said it would deliver.

Having said that, losses have increased – up to INR 6 billion ($94 million) “as per IFRS” or INR 1 billion ($15.4 million) “as per non-IFRS”.

Revenue less service cost is expected to grow by between 30-35% in the year to end-March 18.

One of the most relevant metrics is the sales and marketing expense, particularly important in India where Yatra is up again the combined MakeMyTrip-Ibibo in the battle to gain market share. Yatra has increased this expense during the year by 46% to INR 2.5 billion ($38.6 million) “on account of increases in consumer promotion programs, loyalty incentive programs and brand spends on TV and print media”.

Also of importance in India is the growth of mobile. In the Jan-March quarter, 72% of Yatra’s traffic came from mobile, up from 67% in the previous quarter.

Click here for the financial release.

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Martin Cowen

About the Writer :: Martin Cowen

Martin Cowen is contributing editor for tnooz and is based in the UK. Besides reporting and editing, he also oversees our sponsored content initiative and works directly with clients to produce articles and reports. For the past several years he has worked as a freelance writer, specialising in B2B distribution and technology. Before freelancing, from 2000-2008, he was launch editor for e-tid.com, the first online-only B2B daily news service for the UK travel sector.



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