May 12, 2020 / 6:38 AM / 16 days ago

Amadeus has enough liquidity even if COVID-19 crisis goes beyond 2020

(Reuters) - Spanish travel booking group Amadeus (AMA.MC) assured on Tuesday it has enough liquidity and scope for cost cuts to cope with curbs to air travel caused by the coronavirus pandemic even if the crisis extends beyond this year.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amadeus IT Holding can be seen in Madrid, Spain, June 24, 2016. REUTERS/Andrea Comas

The world’s biggest provider of booking services reported a 57.5% slump in first-quarter adjusted net profit after the outbreak brought international air travel to a virtual standstill.

“We have cash and liquidity available even if the ‘stress case’ scenario goes beyond 2020 and lasts for the entire 2021,” Amadeus’ chief financial officer Ana de Pro told analysts.

As part of efforts to adapt, Amadeus has shifted resources from longer-term projects to ones that generate more revenues, such as services for airlines, she said.

The group offered no specific outlook, but its president and chief executive Luis Maroto said it expected “a bad second quarter”.

Amadeus said last month its “stress case” scenario assumed global air traffic would fall by 64% this year.

Over recent months, the group has secured over 4 billion euros ($4.34 billion) in capital thanks to a bridge loan, share placement and a convertible bond, which UBS analysts said put Amadeus in a good position to gain market share once conditions improve.

Amadeus’ first-quarter revenue came in at 1.02 billion euros, in line with its own estimate of a 25-30% drop published in April. The group said travel agency air bookings nearly halved in the quarter, while the number of passengers airlines boarded via its IT solutions business fell 12.0%.

First quarter core profit EBITDA fell 41% to 349 million euros ($379.08 million), still above analysts’ -48% forecast.

Amadeus’ U.S. rival Sabre (SABR.O) reported on Friday a first-quarter net loss of $213 million, citing a drop in bookings caused by flight cancellations.

Reporting by Anita Kobylinska,; Editing by Tomasz Janowski and Ed Osmond

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