Sabre’s results for the first three months of 2024 “exceeded expectations” with revenue and adjusted EBITDA gains driven by supplier mix and travel bookings increases.

The global distribution company reported Q1 revenue of $783 million, up 5% year over year, and adjusted EBITDA of $142 million, up from $58 million in Q1 2023. Net loss attributable to shareholders improved to $71 million compared with $104 million in Q1 2023.

“Sabre delivered strong first quarter results that exceeded expectations,” said Sabre president and CEO Kurt Ekert. “Solid revenue growth, efficiency improvements and further progress on our technology transformation drove significant margin expansion this quarter. Sabre is becoming the preferred provider of intelligent retailing and next-generation distribution technology solutions – with both new and existing customers.

“It is exciting to see the growth strategies that we articulated last year begin to take hold. We are well positioned to achieve our operational and financial objectives, and I am proud of our teams for consistently delivering on our strategic priorities and driving strong momentum in our business.”

During an earnings call, Ekert touched on Sabre’s use of artificial intelligence saying the company had given it to 800 of its software engineers to boost productivity and accelerate innovation. He also said the company sees three applications of generative AI.

The first application is in the ability to code faster which the company hopes will lead to faster innovation. The second application is around automating what would traditionally be manual processes when it comes to servicing customers. The third application for Sabre currently is in embedding generative AI across hospitality and airline tools with the company’s dataset helping it “differentiate from the pack.”

Responding to an analyst question on Sabre’s win rate now compared with prior to the technology transformation announced in 2020, Ekert said: “If you look at what we have today and will have going forward, we have a cloud-built modularized set of technology which is fundamentally different from the monolithic mainframe of the past. So, any thoughts that this is dinosaur technology business are historical artifacts. This is a modern platform business.”

Revenue for the travel business increased 5% to $714 million with distribution revenue accounting for $572 million of the total, up 9% year over year.

Hospitality solutions revenue increased 7% to $79 million with central reservation system transactions up 5% to 29 million. Hospitality solutions revenue is expecting double digit growth and margin improvement in 2024 attributable to deals including a renewal with Wyndham Hotels and Sabre’s deal announced almost a year ago to implement its reservation system for Hyatt.

Sabre’s guidance for full-year 2024 is revenue of just over $3 billion and adjusted EBITDA $520 million.

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