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YTRA: A Strong Rebound for Travel in India Suggests Yatra Could Soon Be Back Usual Business Levels

By Lisa Thompson

NASDAQ:YTRA

READ THE FULL YTRA RESEARCH REPORT

December quarter revenue growth of 69% was better than our expectation as Yatra (NASDAQ:YTRA) saw a strong recovery in leisure travel going into the holidays which was then dampened in December and January due to the Omicron hype and case numbers. There was however a sharp rebound in January in both leisure and business travel portending an excellent March quarter and an even better June quarter given that quarter is seasonally the highest for Yatra. Management believes that particularly in the corporate market, there is pent up demand for companies to get out and visit their customers and staff once again. There is only so much you can do on Zoom. Management indicated that they expect business travel is on track to exceed 70% of its pre-COVID volumes in the month of March 2022 and that business travel could get back to close to pre-COVID volumes in the June quarter. A strong rebound in travel is aided by the market share gains the company made in the interim.

While India opened fully to International travel March 27th, revenues for Yatra are still below its pre-COVID levels because of restrictions from other countries. Scheduled international flight services had been suspended in India since March 23, 2020, except for special international flights between India and 37 countries since July 2020 under “air bubble arrangements.” New countries now open that are very popular with vacation travelers in India include Thailand and Singapore. There is possibly $25 million of missing revenues from international available for future recovery. Management believes it can get back to pre-pandemic levels this fiscal year, which at current exchange rates translates into $21 million revenue quarters which is also above the revenue level to assure healthy positive cash flow on an operating level.

Adjusted revenues were $14.0 million versus $8.3 million a year ago. Air passenger travel grew 39% for Yatra in the December quarter, and hotel room nights increased 72%. Holiday packages even increased, growing sequentially from 1,000 to 4,000.

The company again reported positive adjusted EBITDA this time of $591,000 for the quarter, despite investing the freight forwarding service and logistics. Yatra was also now cash flow positive and free cash flow positive. We are currently forecasting $2.3 million in adjusted EBITDA for this fiscal year and $16.4 million for the March 2023 fiscal year.

Traffic numbers were down from the December quarter in the March quarter as shown in the graph below:

The March traffic number came in at 10.5 million resulting in a three-month total 24.5 of versus 30.5 in the December quarter. Revenues are fairly correlated with these traffic numbers so we have adjusted the quarter accordingly. The June quarter should be extremely strong as should the December quarter as travel returns to normal worldwide.

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