China’s largest online travel agency Ctrip.com soared 7% after reporting better-than-expected September earnings and providing a rosy outlook.Revenue for the September quarter jumped 75% from a year ago to 5.6 billion yuan, at the high end of the company’s guidance of 70-75% growth. The Street had expected a growth rate of 73%.
Skyscanner, the UK-based travel search business, has been bought by Ctrip, China’s biggest online travel firm.The deal values Skyscanner at about £1.4bn ($1.75bn).The firm, which has its headquarters in Edinburgh, is available in more than 30 languages, with about 60 million monthly active users.
Skyscanner’s mega takeover is set to trigger a big payday for the firm’s founders.The idea for the website came from Norwich-born Mr. Williams, an avid skier, who got frustrated at not being able to search online for cheap flights to France.The ex-computing and mathematics student admitted: “I had a spectacularly unsuccessful career as a programmer in London for about 10 years.”
The news of the deal comes just hours after Chancellor Philip Hammond promised £400m to help Britain’s successful digital start-ups avoid being snapped up by larger rivals.
“I am taking a first step to tackle the long-standing problem of our fastest growing technology firms being snapped up by bigger companies, rather than growing to scale,”
-Mr. Hammond said in his Autumn Statement.