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Airbnb expects Q1, 2022 room nights to exceed 2019 levels

Airbnb beat estimates on earnings and revenue in its fourth quarter, as it continued to rebound from the Covid-19 pandemic, reports Jessica Bursztynsky for CNBC. Airbnb expects first-quarter 2022 nights and experiences booked to significantly exceed Q1 2019 levels. It estimates revenue to fall between USD 1.41 billion and USD 1.48 billion in the first quarter of 2022, topping analyst estimates of USD 1.24 billion.

The company reported 73.4 million nights and experiences booked in the fourth quarter, down nearly 8% from the prior quarter and missing estimates. Analysts were expecting 74.96 million nights and experiences for the quarter, according to StreetAccount. Still, the figure is up 59% year-over-year, when the Covid-19 pandemic weighed heavily on the travel industry.

Airbnb said in its fourth-quarter letter to shareholders that it has rebounded quickly from the impacts of the pandemic. The company said the negative effects of omicron on bookings and cancellations were lower than it experienced with the delta variant. Gross nights booked in December were up more than 40% compared to 2020, the company said.

“Despite the continued near-term uncertainties, we see evidence of strong pent-up demand: as of the end of January 2022, we had over 25% more nights booked for the summer travel season than at this time in 2019,” the company wrote.

Revenue for the fourth quarter came in at $1.5 billion, up 78% year over year. Airbnb reported $55 million in net income, its first Q4 profit. It’s a decrease from the prior quarter but a huge improvement from the $3.89 billion net loss it posted in Q4 2020.

Gross booking value, which Airbnb uses to track host earnings, service fees, cleaning fees and taxes, totaled $11.3 billion in the fourth quarter, slightly over Wall Street estimates of $11.08 billion, according to StreetAccount.
Average daily rates rose 20% from a year ago to $154 in the fourth quarter.

Airbnb has spent much of its time focusing on a sort of “travel revolution,” as remote work becomes a more permanent option for many across the U.S.

As a result, Airbnb said average trip length during the past two years increased by about 15%, with stays of more than seven days now representing nearly half of all gross nights booked. Meantime, long-term stays of 28 nights or more continued to be its fastest-growing category by trip length. Those extended stays accounted for 22% of gross nights booked in the fourth quarter, up 16% from Q4 2019.

“For the first time ever, millions of people can now live anywhere,” CEO Brian Chesky said on the company’s earnings call. Chesky recently announced he would be living in different Airbnbs, switching up locations every few weeks. He said he was currently staying in Miami.

The company said it had its greatest number of listings yet, but did not provide a figure. (Source: CNBC)


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