Airbnb set for a sizzling summer

Airbnb has boosted Wall Street’s expectations for the coming months as it prepares for a bumper summer travel season after the loosening of Covid-19 restrictions across the world.

The property-sharing group cited robust demand across America and Europe, reporting that business had eclipsed 2019 levels in some markets over Easter.

It projected revenue of between $2.03 billion and $2.13 billion in the three months to the end of June, ahead of analyst forecasts of about $1.96 billion. Shares in Airbnb rose by 5.2 per cent, or $7.50, to $152.59 during after-hours trading last night. The group, based in San Francisco, was founded in 2008 and has a market value of $92.3 billion. It listed in December 2020.

Revenue rose 70 per cent to $1.51 billion in the first quarter. Its net losses narrowed markedly, from $1.2 billion to $19 million. About 102.1 million nights and experiences were booked on the platform in the quarter, up 59 per cent on the year and exceeding pre-pandemic levels.

Airbnb, which has benefited from the rise of remote working as users book more frequent stays in destinations away from cities, said last week that it would permit staff to live and work anywhere.

It hailed an “incredible start” to 2022 last night as “strong, sustained pent-up demand” lifts bookings. “One year after the travel rebound of the century began, we are looking forward to another strong summer travel season,” it added. Users are booking longer stays than they were before the onset of the pandemic, Airbnb noted.

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