This success could only be achieved by our continued combined growth in both Distribution and IT Solutions. In Distribution, our global market share of travel agency air bookings 1 increased by 1.0 percentage point and total bookings (including non air) increased 5%; in IT Solutions, the Passengers Boarded total grew by 17.9% to reach 440 million and the number of migrated Altéa customers increased to 100 – significantly, further key airline contract signings for Altéa lifted the projected Passengers Boarded for 2014 to 735 million 2. Further details are laid out below in the relevant sections.
As a result of our continued growth in all business areas, it should be highlighted that total billable travel transactions processed, which is a key metric for our overall business, increased by 11.5% to reach 947 million – edging us closer to the one billion landmark.
The establishment of a unit dedicated to new business reflects the focus of Amadeus on building new lines of business. The commitment to continue growing and strengthening this priority area was further underlined with key strategic appointments in three of the main business areas within the New Businesses portfolio: airport, hotel and rail.
In February Amadeus announced that it had reached an agreement with AXA Private Equity and Permira Funds for the sale of a 100% stake in Opodo – subject to the approval of regulatory authorities. This development followed previous communications that Amadeus was exploring and evaluating alternative options for Opodo. The agreed enterprise value was approximately €450 million, which represented a multiple of 11.7x the EBITDA of Opodo during the 2010 financial calendar.
In May the sale was approved by the European Commission under EU Merger Regulation. On June 30 Amadeus received the cash proceeds, which were subsequently used to pay down a bridge loan of €400 million.