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Amadeus profit jumps as travel sector continues recovery

The logo of Amadeus IT Group tops the company's offices in Madrid

By Jakub Olesiuk and Diana Mandia

MADRID (Reuters) -Spanish travel booking group Amadeus reported a nine-fold leap in adjusted third-quarter profit to 220 million euros ($215 million) on Friday, driven by the travel industry's recovery from the COVID slump, Chief Executive Luis Maroto said.

"Everybody is expecting to really increase capacity from now to the summer of next year (...) When I talk to customers, they feel optimistic about capacity expansion and about hiring people," Maroto said in a call with analysts.

The company's shares were up 2.7% in afternoon trading.

Strong demand to fly this summer boosted profits at the owners of British Airways, Finnair, Air France and KLM despite capacity limits imposed at airports, staff shortages and strikes over pay.

Amadeus said it would resume shareholder payouts in 2023 and consider share buybacks in the future.

Though third-quarter adjusted profit registered a nine-fold increase year on year, it was still 32% below the same period in 2019, Amadeus said.

The company, which operates the world's largest travel booking system, said overall revenue in the quarter rose 65% to 1.22 billion euros, slightly above the 1.2 billion euros consensus forecast from analysts polled by the company.

Amadeus said it processed 99.8 million bookings in the quarter, equivalent to 72% of levels from the same period in pre-pandemic 2019.

($1 = 1.0229 euros)

(Reporting by Jakub Olesiuk and Diana MandiaEditing by Inti Landauro, David Goodman and David Evans)