Online travel giant Expedia, Inc. reported financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2012. Room nights grew a record 33 percent year-over-year driven by a second, consecutive quarter of acceleration across Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas, Expedia said. Domestic room nights increased 19 percent year-over-year representing the fastest growth rate in two years.
Revenue growth accelerated throughout 2012 reaching 24 percent year-over-year by the fourth quarter of 2012, Expedia said; almost double the rate of growth for the first quarter 2012.
Driven by strong top line performance, Adjusted EBITDA increased 14 percent year-over-year as compared to fourth quarter 2011.
For the year, Expedia, Inc. allocated nearly $730 million to share repurchases, acquisitions and dividends.
Expedia, Inc. also said it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a fully-diluted 61.6 percent stake in trivago, a leading hotel metasearch company based in Dusseldorf, Germany, for approximately US$647 million. Expedia said it expects the transaction to close during the first half of 2013.
Expedia also said for the quarter ended December 31, 2012, it reserved approximately $110 million related to Hawaii Tax Court Litigation. An appeal is expected. "We reserved this amount due to our expectation that we will be required by the state of Hawaii to pay this amount in order to pursue a challenge on appeal of the adverse decision by the Tax Court that general excise tax is due on the total amount paid by consumers for a hotel room reservation in Hawaii."
In addition, Expedia said, the court is considering additional assessments and penalties which Expedia estimates could be up to $60 million.