Airbnb forecasts weaker Q2 revenue despite robust demand for international travel

NEW YORK – Vacation rental company Airbnb reported a higher quarterly profit on May 8 but forecast second-quarter revenue below Wall Street expectations, sending shares of the company down 8 per cent after the bell.

Accommodation companies in the first quarter have seen the demand for travel in regions outside of North America boost earnings as travel accelerates in Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

Airbnb’s first-quarter revenue rose 18 per cent year-over-year to US$2.14 billion (S$2.9 billion). However, the company forecast second-quarter revenue between US$2.68 billion and US$2.74 billion, below analysts’ estimates of US$2.74 billion, due in part to currency exchange rates, the timing of the Easter holiday and its marketing spend.

“We’d like to deliver higher growth than stable growth, but our outlook obviously reflects the trends that we have seen quarter-to-date,” chief financial officer Ellie Mertz said on a call with analysts.

Nights and experiences booked in the first quarter increased 9.5 per cent year-over-year to about US$133 million driven by a 21 per cent and 19 per cent growth in bookings in Asia-Pacific and Latin America, respectively. The company said bookings in North America “slightly decelerated” during the quarter.

The San Francisco-based company reported net income of US$264 million, or 41 US cents per share, for the quarter ended March, which beat analyst expectations of 24 US cents per share, according to LSEG.

The average cost per night in an Airbnb or average daily rate was US$173 in the reported quarter, a 3 per cent rise compared to the year prior. The company saw an increase in shorter stays and bookings of entire homes which drove margin growth.

Active listings on the platform grew 17 per cent year on year with Asia and Latin America leading the additions.

Looking ahead to the summer, Airbnb said it expects year-over-year revenue growth to accelerate in the third quarter due in part to travel demand centered around international events like the Olympics and Euro Cup.

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