Airbnb bullish on revenue as travel demand remains buoyant

NEW YORK: Airbnb Inc on Tuesday (Feb 14) forecast current-quarter revenue above market estimates on resilient travel demand and said it would keep a tight lid on costs to protect margins, sending its shares 10% higher in extended trading.

The rental firm said it expects to maintain last year’s margin of 35%, the highest since it went public in 2020, despite recession fears that have sparked concerns about consumer spending.

It said domestic and short-distance travel continued to be strong, boosting occupancy rates at popular urban destinations, and noted improvement in long-distance and cross-border travel during the reported quarter, helped by a stronger dollar and border reopening.

“We’re particularly encouraged by European guests booking their summer travel earlier this year,” Airbnb said.

The company forecast first-quarter revenue between US$1.75 billion and US$1.82 billion (RM7.6 billion and RM7.9 billion), higher than analysts’’ average expectation of US$1.69 billion, as per Refinitiv data.

It also forecast that average rates for its rentals would fall slightly in the current quarter and remain pressured through 2023, as vacationers return to lower-cost urban rentals.

Revenue in the holiday quarter ended December rose 24% to US$1.90 billion, lower than the preceding two quarters, but beat analysts’ average estimate of US$1.86 billion.

Meanwhile, average daily rates fell 1% to US$153 and bookings rose 20% to US$13.5 billion, below analysts’ average expectation of US$13.69 billion.

Airbnb reported a quarterly net profit of US$319 million, or 48 cents per share, above estimates of 25 cents per share, according to Refinitiv data. – Reuters