Expedia's European business was particularly strong: Bookings in North America increased 15 percent, while bookings in Europe rose 34 percent.

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Online travel agency Expedia didn’t see travelers scale way back on their spending in the first three months of this year, even though airline ticket prices shot up and concerns of a possible U.S. recession intensified.

Bellevue-based Expedia said today that its first-quarter profit rose 47 percent to $51.3 million, or 17 cents a share, from $34.8 million, or 11 cents a share, a year ago. Revenues totaled $687.8 million, a year-over-year increase of 25 percent.

Expedia’s European business was particularly strong. Bookings in North America increased 15 percent, while bookings in Europe rose 34 percent. Expedia attributed nine percentage points of its European bookings growth to favorable foreign-exchange rates resulting from the U.S. dollar’s decline against the euro.

Excluding special items, Expedia’s profit for the three months that ended March 31 would have been $71 million, or 24 cents a share, up from $59.6 million, or 18 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had been expecting a per-share profit of 23 cents on revenue of $657.6 million.

Shares of Expedia were down 58 cents to $24.68 in morning trading.

In a morning conference call with analysts, President and Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi gave a cautious outlook. “We do expect challenges going forward due to the U.S. economy and higher ticket prices,” he said.

Amy Martinez: 206-464-2923 or amartinez@seattletimes.com