Amex GBT: Business Travel Sentiment Improving in 2024

Amex GBT: Business Travel Sentiment Improving in 2024

American Express Global Business Travel’s total transaction value increased 7 percent year over year in the fourth quarter to $6.3 billion, reflecting “continued growth in business travel,” the travel management company reported on Tuesday.

The transaction growth helped push Amex GBT’s revenue up 4 percent year over year to $549 million for the quarter, which CFO Karen Williams said “was at the top end of our guidance.” Product and professional services revenue also grew during the quarter, but “different phasing of supplier revenue in the prior year” offset the revenue growth as compared to TTV, according to the TMC.

Williams noted that putting the third and fourth quarters together, revenue growth was up 10 percent year over year.

Amex GBT CEO Paul Abbott said the quarter capped off “strong full-year results,” which were above guidance issued earlier in the year. Revenue increased 24 percent year over year to $2.3 billion and TTV was up 23 percent year over year to $28.2 billion.

Abbott claimed “record new wins” totaling $3.5 billion in value for 2023, including $2.2 billion among small and midsized enterprises. SME transaction growth was “relatively faster” in 2023, up 20 percent year over year compared with a 17 percent year-over-year increase among global multinational customers.

On a regional basis, 2023 transaction growth in the Americas increased 26 percent year over year, and transaction growth in Europe, the Middle East and Africa was up 20 percent. Transaction growth in Asia/Pacific was “significantly higher” at 29 percent, due to the delayed recover in the region in 2022, Abbott said.

Abbott also noted that in 2023 hotel transaction growth, up 20 percent year over year, outpaced air transaction growth, up 16 percent.

“This reflects industry trends as well as our intentional focus on increasing our volume of hotel bookings as we continue to strengthen our hotel content and display,” Abbott said.

Client sentiment for business travel growth has improved this year, according to Abbott. The TMCs most recent customer survey showed that its top 100 customers expect business travel spending to be up 4 percent year over year in 2024, and positive sentiment toward business travel has increased 6 percentage points since its survey in the previous quarter. In the meetings and events business, forward-looking spend currently is up 10 percent compared with 2023, Abbott said.

Projections this year are for “normalized” and “more stabilized” growth, Abbott said.

“I do think [this year] we’re going to see our growth in global multinational and SME start to become more consistent,” Abbott said. “We certainly … have seen a pickup in the global multinational segment in December and into the first quarter.”

Amex GBT reported a net loss of $46 million for the fourth quarter, an improvement from a $63 million loss in the fourth quarter of 2022. For the full year, the TMC’s net loss was $136 million, improved from the $229 million net loss in 2022.

RELATED: Amex GBT Q3 results

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