‘Strong’ first half for travel software firm Datalex

Irish firm reports 24% revenue increase as it eyes 20% full-year earnings growth

Revenues at listed travel software firm Datalex rose by 24 per cent in the first half of the year as the company benefited from new customers and strong growth in its services revenue.

Revenues rose to $30.3 million (€25.4 million), the company said on Tuesday, on the back of strong growth in platform revenue, which was 9 per cent stronger at $12.8 million.

During the period Datalex benefited from securing Swiss International Air Lines, a member of the Lufthansa Group, as a new customer together with two Chinese carriers that went live during 2016, Air Chang’an and Tianjin Airlines.

Pre-tax profits were up 21 per cent to $1.6 million, with earnings (adjusted ebitda) 17 per cent ahead at $5.4 million.


Shares in the group rose 1.05 per cent in Dublin to €3.84.

Chief executive Aidan Brogan said: "The first half of 2017 was another period of strong performance and investment for Datalex. The market opportunity continues to expand as more airlines undertake the transformation necessary to prosper in the digital economy.

“We continue to see a strong new customer pipeline across global markets,” he added. “Our priority is to continue to invest in scaling the organisation and new platform capabilities to generate new revenue streams and execute on the market opportunity.”

Takeover target

Merrion Private analyst Darren McKinley said speculation was now rife that the company could be a takeover target, given its recent joint ventures with Neusoft in China and IBM in the United States.

Datalex, whose biggest shareholder is businessman Dermot Desmond with a 27 per cent stake, said that since the launch of its Datalex Labs in Silicon Valley earlier this year, it has selected 15 start-ups for evaluation at the facility, and has already integrated one of these (FLYR, a pricing analytics tool) into its platform in support of JetBlue Technology Ventures.

The company is also investing in artificial intelligence (AI), to “drive new capability in dynamic pricing and offer-creation”, and it has launched a cloud-based digital payments portfolio. Customers are already live on the platform and further deployments are expected in the second half of the year.

Looking ahead, Datalex said its market opportunity “continues to grow, and we continue to invest in our people, product and partnerships to ensure we are well positioned to take advantage of this opportunity”.

The company is forecasting full-year earnings growth of 15-20 per cent.

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan is a writer specialising in personal finance and is the Home & Design Editor of The Irish Times