Sabre revenues fall by 66% during COVID-hit 2020

Overall revenues for Sabre plummeted to $1.3 billion for 2020 – a drop of 66% amid a near-collapse of the travel industry during large swathes of the year.

A net loss attributable to common stockholders, also of $1.3 billion, was filed in the company’s full-year earnings report today.

The company says its metrics were negatively impacted by the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic but a number of cost-cutting measures put in place during the year partially offset the impact.

Revenues during the fourth quarter of 2020 also fell by two-thirds year-over-year to $313.8 million, although this was the best-performing three months for Sabre since Q1.

Distribution revenue for the full year came in at $582 million, down 79% on 2019.

In terms of Sabre’s booking metrics, air tickets during 2020 were also down 79% on the previous 12 months at 103 million. Non-air bookings dropped by 68% to 67 million.

Passenger numbers for the year were 323 million – around half the 741 million figure during 2019.

Figures for Sabre’s IT Solutions division faired slightly better having fallen by 40% over the same period to $595 million.

Despite the gloomy financial report for 2020, Sabre believes there is “pent-up demand for travel” as travelers gain confidence and anticipate a “return to the skies.”

The company believes Europe will recover more slowly than other markets due to tighter travel restrictions but, it says, “fortunately North America is our biggest footprint.”

Sean Menke, president and CEO, says: “In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 presented the greatest challenges ever faced by the global travel industry, with global air and hotel bookings down more than we have seen in any prior year.

“As the impact of the COVID-19 virus spread, we took quick and decisive actions to improve our financial position. We reduced our go-forward annual costs by approximately $200 million, which represents significant savings against our 2019 cost base.

“We added liquidity, extended our debt maturities and ended the year with a cash balance of $1.5 billion.”

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