|TRIVAGO N.V. filed this Form 20-F on 03/06/2018|
In the future, as our growth rate slows or declines, we expect the variability, cyclicality and seasonality in our business to become more pronounced, or in any event more apparent, as our high rates of growth in recent years tended to mask these characteristics. This could result in greater fluctuations of our revenue, cash flows, results of operations and other key performance measures from period to period and may affect the price of our ADSs and increase volatility in that price.
While the size of our user base continues to increase, we anticipate that the growth rate of our user base may decline as our business matures. We may also lose users for other reasons, such as a failure to deliver satisfactory search results, transaction experiences or high-quality services. In addition, even if our user base continues to grow, our revenue may not grow at the same rate or at all. If our growth rates continue to decline or if our revenue declines, as was already the case in Developed Europe in the fourth quarter of 2017, our results of operation, business and prospects may be adversely affected.
We are dependent on general economic conditions, and declines in travel or discretionary spending generally could reduce the demand for our services.
Our results of operations and financial prospects are significantly dependent upon users of our services and the prosperity and solvency of the OTAs, hotel chains and independent hotels that have relationships with us. Travel, including hotel room reservations, is dependent on personal and business discretionary spending levels. Travel services tend to decline, along with the advertising budgets spent by hotels and other accommodation aggregators, during general economic downturns and recessions. Events and developments that cause deteriorations in economic conditions on a national, regional or global level, or are perceived as likely to lead to such deteriorations, can quickly affect our business. In particular, our financial results may be adversely impacted by economic uncertainty arising from negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom relating to the United Kingdom’s anticipated withdrawal from the European Union. Conditions that reduce disposable income or consumer confidence, such as an increase in interest rates (which, among other things, could cause consumers to incur higher monthly expenses under mortgages), unemployment rates, direct or indirect taxes, fuel prices or other costs of living, may lead users to reduce or stop their spending on travel or to opt for lower-cost products and services, and these conditions may be particularly prevalent during periods of recession, economic downturn or market volatility and disruption. International travel may also be affected by changes in exchange rates among significant origin and destination countries.
Any significant decline in travel, consumer discretionary spending or the occurrence of any of the foregoing conditions may reduce demand for our services. They can also cause advertisers to become insolvent or fail to pay us for services we have already provided. The occurrence of any of the above could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.
Our ability to maintain our current financial performance, brand awareness and growth is dependent on the effectiveness of our advertising expenditures. Increased competition, or inadequate or ineffective innovation in this area could harm our business and negatively affect our financial condition and results of operations.
We rely heavily on the trivago brand. Awareness, perceived quality and perceived differentiated attributes of our brand are important aspects of our efforts to attract and expand the number of users of our websites and apps. Many of our competitors have more resources than we do and can spend more on advertising their brands and services. As a result, we are required to spend considerable amounts of money and other resources to preserve and increase our brand awareness and grow our business. Competition for top-of-mind awareness and brand preference is intense among online hotel search services, globally and in key