Strong international hotel sales pushed Priceline.com's profits up 74%, with the online travel agency reporting first-quarter income of $182 million.

Priceline said international bookings increased 54%, driven by strong results from European sites Booking.com and Agoda.com, as well as strength from domestic car rentals.

The OTA booked 46 million room nights in the first quarter, up 47% over the same period of 2011.

Priceline sold 6.9 million rental car days, a 40.6% increase. CEO Jeffery Boyd said results "reflected improved results in the U.S. business and the growing contribution from Rentalcars.com."

The company's first-quarter revenue surged 28%, to $1.03 billion.

Boyd said economic difficulties in Europe had slowed Priceline's growth.

"Economic conditions in Europe remain a challenge and are reflected in the lower relative growth rates in southern peripheral countries and a weakening of the euro, which puts pressure on our dollar-denominated results," Boyd said. "We also now see changes in the political environment which add additional uncertainty."

Follow Johanna Jainchill on Twitter @jjainchilltw.

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