MakeMyTrip: Easy Trip loses booking war with MakeMyTrip in key holiday quarter

Easy Trip Planners, one of India’s top online travel aggregators, posted its slowest-ever quarterly revenue growth as bookings dropped during a seasonally strong holiday quarter, for which rival MakeMyTrip posted record-high bookings.

Easy Trip’s revenue rose 18% to Rs 161 crore ($19.4 million) for the third quarter ended Dec. 31. Its revenue has doubled in nearly every quarter since it went public in early 2021, before growth slowed to 42% and then to 31% in the previous two quarters.

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India’s travel industry is thriving, with demand for air, road and rail travel as well as for hotels booming fuelled by rising disposable incomes. But online travel aggregators are locked in a battle to win customers, with analysts saying that MakeMyTrip has lower charges and better service.

The Nasdaq-listed MakeMyTrip posted its highest-ever quarterly gross bookings, revenue and profit for the October-December period on robust demand for leisure travel.

On the other hand, Easy Trip’s gross booking revenue — the total value of bookings before accounting for fees and charges — declined nearly 11% for the same period. About 90% of its bookings are for flights.

Its net profit rose about 10% to 456.6 million rupees in the quarter, while its net profit margins fell to 27.6% from 29.8%.

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The company said it is looking to boost its presence in the non-air travel business for which it took a 13% stake in a hotel company. On similar lines, MakeMyTrip said it had taken a majority stake in an inter-city car rental service called Savaari.

Easy Trip’s shares had hit a 13-month high earlier in the day but reversed course to end 2.6% lower after the results.