Airbnb posts best quarter ever with profits up 280% as travel rebound continues

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Airbnb (NASDAQ:ABNB) Inc announced soaring revenue and profits for the third quarter as the recovery in travel accelerated following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions earlier in the year.


Net income came in at US$834mln, making the third quarter, which includes the summer travel peak, the most profitable quarter ever for the travel platform. The figure represented growth of 280% on the same period of 2020 and a rise of 213% on pre-pandemic 2019.


Revenues rose by 70% year-on-year to US$2.2bn and were 36% higher than the third quarter of 2019. Analysts’ forecasts were for US$2.05bn.


Adjusted EBITDA doubled to US$1.1bn from US$501mln in 2020 and more than tripled from the US$314mln recorded in 2019.


Adjusted EBITDA margin was 49%, an increase of 3,000 basis points from 2019, and by far the best margin achieved by the company.


“The third quarter was Airbnb (NASDAQ:ABNB)‘s best quarter yet. The pandemic has led to a revolution in how we live, work and travel and we’re constantly innovating to meet this new way of traveling and living,” commented Airbnb co-founder and chief executive officer Brian Chesky.


The company forecast revenue of US$1.39bn-US$1.48bn for the fourth quarter, lower than the third-quarter figure because of travel seasonality.


“We remain focused on making progress towards achieving our long-term profitability goals through reduced variable costs, high marketing efficiency and tightly managed fixed expenses,” Airbnb said.


“We expect our Q4 adjusted EBITDA to show this continued progress, adjusted for seasonality. Specifically, we expect to deliver greater year-over-year and year-over-two year margin expansion in Q4 2021 than we delivered in Q3 2021.”


The company said it is seeing the strong demand for travel extend well into 2022.


It said it reached a milestone of 1 billion cumulative guest arrivals last summer as more people got vaccinated and travel restrictions were relaxed. This was 48% higher than in 2020 and 23% up on 2019, driven by significantly higher Average Daily Rates (ADR).


Bookings for the final quarter of 2021 are expected to be substantially above the fourth quarter of both 2020 and 2019 and are also forecast to accelerate from the third quarter of this year.


“Looking to 2022, vaccination progress and the recovery of international travel in Q4 2021 will be key themes for growth heading into the new year,” Airbnb said.


It expects ADR to moderate over time based on the recovery of lower ADR regions and return to urban destinations.

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