EaseMyTrip sees travel picking up as cases fall2 min read . Updated: 17 Jun 2021, 01:22 AM IST
- Bookings are picking up dramatically, says EaseMyTrip’s co-founder Pitti
Online travel portal EaseMyTrip (Easy Trip Planners Ltd), which went public in March, hopes bookings to pick up as more people get vaccinated, co-founder and executive director Prashant Pitti said in an interview.
“(Booking) numbers are picking up dramatically. We expect people to spend more on travel when things are looking up. We are hopeful about the government’s vaccination policy," Pitti said, adding that bookings increased by at least three times in the last few days compared to mid-April, following the onset of the second wave of covid-19 infections.
Pitti said travel is expected to pick up further with a substantial decline in new cases, when at least 30% of the population is vaccinated, as seen in the UK and Israel.
We are bullish about what is going to happen over the next few months to an extent that we have started hiring, he said. “None of us know if the third wave will happen, but the company is prepared."
Pitti said it had cash and cash reserves worth ₹242 crore at the end of the March quarter.
EaseMyTrip reported eight-fold increase in profit in the March quarter to ₹30.47 crore, driven by increase in margin and commissions, and reduction in operational expenses.
For the quarter ended 31 March, its revenue rose 72% to ₹69.29 crore, and expenses fell from ₹35.06 in the year-ago period to ₹26.18 crore. On an annual basis, the company reported 86% rise in annual profits for FY21 at ₹61.01 crore, despite a 17% fall in revenue to ₹150.76 core.
The company also reduced its total expenditure from ₹135 crore in 2019-20 to ₹67 crore in FY21.
“This was primarily because we were offering advances to our vendors, including airlines, hotels. We negotiated harder and gave them advanced deposits during the pandemic. Due to this we were able to reduce our expenses," Pitti said.
“Our gross bookings diminished by 50% during the pandemic year. Because of our better negotiations with vendors, we were able to achieve good profits. Our expenses fell more than 50%. Predominantly our costs are reduced in marketing and discounting. We also reduced cost on the salary front."
Going ahead, Pitti expects EaseMyTrip to perform better during the June quarter, compared to the year-ago quarter.
“I am sure Q1FY22 (April-June 2021 period) results may not be as good as Q4FY21, but it will do better than Q1FY21 results. As last year there was a lockdown during this period."
The second wave of the pandemic started in late March, when daily rate of covid-19 infections skyrocketed across major metropolises, as well as smaller towns and villages. Since May-end, fresh daily cases of infections dipped in several parts of the country. “
We are relieved that the momentum is picking up, and our last few days booking numbers are as much as three times higher (as compared to the peak of second wave in April)," he added.
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