Priceline.com today reported its financial results for the 4th quarter and full-year 2008. Gross travel bookings for the 4th quarter, which refers to the total dollar value, inclusive of all taxes and fees, of all travel services purchased by consumers, rose 22.9% year-over-year to approximately $1.5 billion.

Priceline.com had revenues in the 4th quarter of $406.0 million, a 21.3% increase over a year ago. The Company?s international operations contributed revenues in the 4th quarter of $127.5 million, a 24.4% increase versus a year ago (approximately 44% growth on a local currency basis). Priceline.com?s gross profit for the 4th quarter was $205.1 million, a 28.0% increase from the prior year. The Company?s international operations contributed gross profit in the 4th quarter of $126.6 million, a 25.0% increase versus a year ago (approximately 45% growth on a local currency basis). Priceline.com had GAAP net income for the 4th quarter of $33.3 million or $0.73 per diluted share, which compares to $32.9 million or $0.68 per diluted share in the same period a year ago.

Pro forma net income in the 4th quarter was $1.29 per diluted share, an increase of 34.4% over a year ago. First Call analyst consensus for the 4th quarter 2008 was $1.05 per diluted share. The section below entitled ?Non-GAAP Financial Measures? provides a definition and information about the use of pro forma financial measures in this press release and the attached financial and statistical supplement reconciles pro forma financial information with priceline.com?s financial results under GAAP.

For full-year 2008, priceline.com?s gross travel bookings were approximately $7.4 billion, a 53.2% increase over 2007. Full-year 2008 revenues were $1.9 billion, a 33.7% increase over a year ago. Priceline.com?s gross profit for 2008 was $956.0 million, a 49.5% increase from the prior year. Priceline.com had GAAP net income for 2008 of $193.5 million or $3.98 per diluted share, which compares to $155.5 million or $3.42 per diluted share a year ago. Pro forma net income for 2008 was $5.96 per diluted share, a 47.5% increase over a year ago. First Call analyst consensus for full-year 2008 was $5.77 per diluted share.

"Priceline continued to grow and take market share in the United States and internationally despite very challenging global economic conditions", said priceline.com President and Chief Executive Officer Jeffery H. Boyd. "Worldwide recessionary conditions have resulted in lower overall travel demand and we have seen hotels significantly reduce their average daily rates in response to declining hotel occupancy rates."

?Our international operations grew its 4th quarter gross travel bookings by 27.6% excluding foreign exchange impact.? Mr. Boyd continued, ?Booking.com continued to strengthen its position as the largest and fastest-growing online hotel reservations service in Europe, growing its supplier base by 47% year-over-year. With over 60,000 properties in over 70 countries around the world, Booking.com offers an extensive and growing collection of attractively priced hotels in leading destinations around the world. By being available in 21 different languages, Booking.com provides an unmatched level of consumer accessibility. We believe that this breadth of offerings and services was a major factor in Ryanair?s recent choice of Booking.com to power its hotel booking engine. In the 4th quarter, Agoda.com had its one year anniversary under the priceline.com umbrella. Despite significant external challenges in its local markets, Agoda achieved organic gross bookings growth of over 100% in 2008.?

"In the U.S., priceline.com?s gross travel bookings grew in the 4th quarter by what we believe is a market-leading 31.1% year over year as our value brand and low prices appealed to cost-conscious consumers and suppliers used our Name Your Own Price? distribution to sell their services in the face of slowing demand. For more than a decade, priceline.com has built a travel brand that is synonymous with delivering the lowest price, supported by a robust collection of published-price and Name Your Own Price? travel services. We believe that our brand identity and an effective marketing campaign featuring The Priceline Negotiator, is resonating with customers in this difficult economic climate.?

Looking forward, Mr. Boyd said, ?We are in the midst of a period of unprecedented economic turbulence that is significantly impacting travel demand, pricing and currency exchange rates. Our goals are to continue building our global brands and deliver value to customers looking for the best travel value and suppliers looking to drive demand in a challenging market."