SHANGHAI, March 5 (Xinhua) -- China's leading online travel agency Ctrip reported robust revenue growth in 2018 as the company secured vigorous growth in international business and greater presence in low-tier cities.
The company raked in about 31 billion yuan (about 4.5 billion U.S. dollars) in net revenue in 2018, up 16 percent year on year, according to its unaudited financial report released Tuesday.
In Q4 alone, Ctrip's net revenue increased by 22 percent year-on-year to 7.6 billion yuan, the report said.
Jane Sun, Ctrip's CEO, attributed the growth to the company's innovative new products, increased support to its suppliers and customer-oriented services, despite various challenges in the past year.
Transacting users for Ctrip's China brands continued to grow and now total 135 million. Gross merchandise volume grew at 30 percent year on year, Sun said.
Transport ticketing remained the top revenue contributor, followed by accommodation reservation, the report said.
As of the end of December 2018, transport ticketing revenue saw a 6-percent year-on-year increase to 12.9 billion yuan, accounting for 42 percent of the total revenue.
The accommodation reservation business grew 21 percent to 11.6 billion yuan, which represented 37 percent of the total revenue, the report said.
Last year, Ctrip opened its platform in 25 product lines, including customized tourism and tickets, for worldwide cooperation and partnership, bringing opportunities for small, medium and micro tourism enterprises.
According to data from Ctrip, the platform has signed contracts with over 1,500 suppliers, and the volume of trade increased by more than 120 percent last year.
"Based on the strong foundation we have laid over the past few years, we expect our market share to increase at an even faster pace going forward as we continue to leverage operational improvements," said James Liang, Executive Chairman of Ctrip.
Ctrip expects its net revenue growth to continue at a year-on-year rate of approximately 18 to 23 percent in the first quarter of 2019.