Alternative accommodations brand Vrbo was again the darling of Expedia Group's portfolio in the third quarter, when it again experienced year-over-year growth.

"The third quarter was strong," CEO Peter Kern said of Vrbo's business. "We were up year over year, which for any travel business, of course, is terrific in the world we're living in, and we think it bodes well both because we brought in a lot of new customers and we believe those customers will have long-term value for us."

Speaking on a call with financial analysts, Kern added that Vrbo's strong performance will also mean more consumers are more familiar with the brand.

Kern later said that Expedia's rollout of the Vrbo brand wasn't executed as well as it could have been, and the company believes there are marketing opportunities to better acquaint consumers with the alternative accommodations provider. 

The CEO also said he sees more opportunity to better integrate Vrbo supply in other Expedia group brands, like its core OTA offerings.

Across all Expedia businesses, total gross bookings in the third quarter decreased 68%, to $8.63 billion.

"Declines across our lodging, air and other travel products all moderated compared to the second quarter, with lodging bookings benefitting from year-over-year growth at Vrbo in the quarter," Expedia said in its earnings release.

Overall, revenue declined 58% to $1.5 billion in the third quarter. The company recorded a net loss of $221 million, compared with net income of $409 million in the third quarter of 2019.

Expedia said while it continues to be impacted by lower travel demand due to Covid-19, its financial results had improved in the third quarter thanks to increased travel and cost-saving initiatives.

Expedia stock was up more than 6% in after-hours trading Wednesday evening.


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