Airbnb Inc updates
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Tourists from countries with higher vaccination rates were “driving the travel recovery”, Airbnb said on Thursday as it reported strong revenue growth for the quarter.
At the same time, the short-term rental provider warned that the “global spread of Covid variants” and inconsistent local regulations could adversely affect the number of bookings later in the year, putting investors on alert for the possibility of a pullback.
“We do not yet know how willing people will be to travel in the fall as compared to summer,” Airbnb said.
The accommodation booking platform’s stock fell about 3 per cent in immediate after-hours trading.
In the April-June period, cross-border travel gained momentum from earlier in the year, as travellers benefited from relaxed restrictions and showed more willingness to venture longer distances.
Destinations with increased vaccine availability in particular experienced increased bookings, the company said in a shareholder letter.
Airbnb earnings at a glance
Actual vs estimates
Gross booking volume: $13.4bn vs $11.6bn
Revenue: $1.34bn vs $1.26bn
Nights and experiences booked: 83.1m vs 79.2m
Ebitda: $217m vs $52m
Net loss: $68m vs $260m
Estimates provided by FactSet and S&P Capital IQ
Revenue in the second quarter of $1.34bn was almost four times higher than in the same period in 2020, and also up 10 per cent on 2019. Wall Street had expected revenues of $1.26bn, according to estimates provided by FactSet.
In its earnings reports, Airbnb records revenues in the period in which a stay takes place but logs “nights and experiences booked” at the time the reservation is made — a strong indicator of future revenues, barring cancellations.
Total nights and experiences booked in the second quarter were up almost 200 per cent on 2020 to 83.1m, higher than the 79.2m analysts had expected. Experiences is Airbnb’s add-on product of activities such as cooking lessons or tours.
This growth contributed to what Airbnb said it expected would be its “strongest quarterly revenue on record”, finishing “well above” the pre-pandemic third quarter of 2019. The company recently recorded its “biggest” single night of bookings.
“Last Saturday night, more than 4m guests from around the world were staying in an Airbnb,” said Brian Chesky, the company’s co-founder and chief executive. “That is more people than the entire population of Los Angeles.”
Looking further ahead, Airbnb warned investors that it faced renewed uncertainty heading towards the end of the year.
“Vaccination progress, containment of new variants and travel restrictions outside the US will all continue to be key factors,” said the company in a shareholder letter.
“As a result, while we expect ‘nights and experiences booked’ in Q3 2021 to significantly outperform Q3 2020, we expect ‘nights and experiences booked’ to come down from Q2 and remain below Q3 2019 levels.”
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