Asia-Pacific based accommodation booking site Wotif.com has booked strong revenue and profit growth in its first year as a public company.

Revenue was up 42% to $45.5 million and net profit after tax of $16.5 million was 38% higher than previously – and 5% ahead of the prospectus forecast issued some two months prior to financial year-end.

Chairman Dick McIlwain says the strong trading and profit result was driven by substantial growth in accommodation sold across all regions. Room nights sold increased 40%, reaching 2.74 million (compared with 1.96 million in FY2005).

The value of transactions processed on the website in the year reached a record $363 million, up from $251 million last year.

Managing director Graeme Wood says the other "pleasing aspect" of the result is the average value of rooms sold on the website has increased by 3.5% over the prior year (FY2006: $132.57 per room night; FY2005: $128.15 per room night).

"Our performance over the financial year has been driven by the great rates and savings available on our website from more than 7,900 properties in 38 countries," he says.

He notes that initiatives undertaken in the year that contributed strongly to the result include:

- extension of Wotif.com's booking window from 14 to 28 days
- enhancements to the search functions on the site
- increased capacity to display images of properties on the site
- new promotional tools for Wotif.com's suppliers.

Wood says Wotif.com's trading performance has remained strong in July and to date in August. Room nights sold in July were up more than 45% on the same month last year, and August to date growth is up more than 50%.