Debt and Rising Costs Impact Travelport Performance

The latest results from Travelport reveal the company, which owns the  Galileo and Worldspan GDS plus 48% of Orbitz, continues to struggle under the weight of a massive debt load accumulated during its acquisitive years. Travelport still has US$3.2 billion in debt after paying down US$655 million from the sale of Gullivers Travel Associates to Kuoni.

Adding pressure is some of that debt has been restructured at higher interest rates, while its cost of revenue increased 6% in tyhe first six months of 2011.

As for the Travelport businesses, they are generally flat with wins in some areas being offset by losses in others. Here is what CEO Gordon Wilson had to say:

“Travelport’s Net Revenue of $1,061 million for the first half of 2011 represented a $5 million increase compared to the corresponding period in the prior year.

“Operating Income and EBITDA were $145 million and $258 million, respectively, for the first half of 2011, with a decrease of 6% in Operating Income and an increase of 1% in EBITDA compared to 2010.

“Adjusted EBITDA was $283 million for the first half of 2011, a 4% decrease compared to 2010.

“Net Revenue increased compared to last year due to $5 million incremental Airline IT Solutions revenue.

“Transaction processing revenue remained flat compared to the prior year, with an increase in transaction processing revenue in Europe and Asia Pacific offset by decreases in the Americas and the Middle East and Africa.

“Operating Income declined $9 million (6%) due to an increase in cost of revenue.

“Interest costs of $149 million were $20 million higher for the first half of 2011 than for 2010 due to higher interest rates arising from amendments made to our senior secured credit agreement in the fourth quarter of 2010 partially offset by a reduction as a result of the early repayment of $655 million in term loans following the sale of GTA.

“During the six months ended June 30, 2011, Travelport generated $98 million in net cash provided by operating activities of continuing operations, an $8 million decrease from 2010, resulting from higher cash interest paid and improved operating working capital.

“On May 5, 2011, Travelport completed the sale of its Gullivers Travel Associates (“GTA”) business to Kuoni Travel Holdings Limited (“Kuoni”).  Proceeds from the sale, together with existing cash, were used to repay $655 million of indebtedness outstanding under our senior secured credit agreement.

“As a result, Travelport’s net debt was reduced to $2,816 million as of June 30, 2011, which comprised debt of $3,241 million less $288 million in cash and cash equivalents and less $137 million of restricted cash provided as collateral.”

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