Expansion across board for search engine

Skyscanner delivers seventh year of growth

Gareth Williams 3Skyscanner, the global travel search engine, delivered a seventh year of double-digit growth with revenue up 28% last year to £120 million.

Chief executive Gareth Williams said 2015 was another strong year of expansion into overseas markets, mobile and non-flight searches, such as car hire.

Excluding the unfavourable impact of currency exchange rates, revenues grew 34%, gaining momentum in the second half of the year in which they grew 36%

Normalised EBITDA before statutory adjustments was up 5% to £22million.

“2015 was another strong year for Skyscanner, showing solid progress in our strategy of expansion beyond our home market, into mobile and beyond flights,” said Mr Williams, co-founder of the Edinburgh-based firm.

“Our first-half focus on investing in our product drove momentum for the business in the second half. We also saw excellent growth in travellers planning their trips on Skyscanner all around the world, especially on mobile and in the important regions of Asia Pacific and the Americas.

“Skyscanner’s global coverage, our direct relationships with partners and travellers and the self-built technology that underpins our success, account for our solid performance in 2015.”

Key milestones in 2015 included:

  • Visitor numbers grew 48%, with a record 50 million monthly visitors. There were 60% more visitors using mobile devices and they now represent 59% of total visitors, up 7%. Mobile web bookings grew by 24% year on year, comprising 42% of all conversions.
  • The Asia Pacific region continued to show strong growth, with 48% more visitors. Mobile visitors grew 62%. This includes Japan, the third largest travel market in the world where Skyscanner and Yahoo! JAPAN established a new joint venture, Skyscanner Japan, in July.
  • In China, a focus for Skyscanner since the acquisition of Youbibi in 2014, visitors grew 67% and mobile visitors nearly doubled.
  • The Americas region saw 55% growth in visitors last year, more than doubling in the US. Mobile visitors in the region nearly doubled. The company also launched in Mexico.
  • Visitors in Europe grew 42%, with mobile visitors 55% higher.
  • Skyscanner’s apps were downloaded more than 40 million times.
  • Skyscanner for Business, the company’s B2B arm, saw revenue double and launched its own car hire white label product. Partners increased 75% to 400, including major brands such as MSN. Revenue grew by 71%.

The company opened two offices last year – engineering hubs in London and Sofia – in addition to the expansion of existing spaces in Budapest and Miami. The company hired 280 staff and technical talent now makes up half of its 770 strong team across the world.

During the year the company recorded several industry firsts, including an artificial intelligence voice search tool for Amazon’s Alexa and the first ticket sold using new NDC capabilities with British Airways.

It also introduced a facilitated booking service with a number of partners, including Air Canada.

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