Airbnb said sales rose 5% in the first quarter, beating analysts’ estimates as the fast pace of vaccinations led to more travel. The company’s net loss tripled due to debt repayments and restructuring costs.

This is how the company did it:

  • Merits: Loss of $ 1.95 per share
  • Revenue: According to Refinitiv, $ 886.9 million versus $ 714.4 million as analysts expected.

The year-on-year increase in sales followed a 22% decline in the fourth quarter.

The coronavirus pandemic has severely curtailed rental activity at Airbnb, but business appears to be recovering as vaccines become more widely available and governments lift travel restrictions. The company reported 64.4 million room nights and experiences booked, up 39% from the fourth quarter and up 13% year over year. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected 62.5 million nights and booked experiences.

The number of booking nights fell year-on-year in every quarter of last year.

Gross Posting Value, Airbnb’s method of tracking host revenue, service fees, cleaning fees and taxes, was $ 10.3 billion, up 52% ​​year over year and above the FactSet consensus of $ 7.87 billion.

Airbnb’s net loss tripled as it repaid debt on loans taken out at the start of the pandemic and continued to pay restructuring fees after layoffs. It also had a $ 113 million impairment loss related to office space in San Francisco.

Average daily rate increased 25% quarterly to $ 160, driven by an increase in customer spending on homes and experiences. Airbnb pointed to the strength of bookings in North America, along with full homes and locations outside of the cities, all of which tended to bring higher rates. The company said 24% of nights booked came from stays of 28 days or more, compared to 14% in 2019.

“The two trends that I think will reverse are urban traffic recovery and cross-border traffic recovery,” Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said on a conference call with analysts. “This was our bread and butter before the pandemic, and I think these are major tailwinds for us.”

Chesky spoke about the potential of offering travelers deals that can be flexible when they travel.

“I think there are many other ways for us to steer demand towards what is available, which means we can steadily increase utilization,” he said.

Cancellation rates are now significantly lower than they were in 2020 but remain higher than they were in 2019, said Dave Stephenson, the company’s chief financial officer.

The company made a general comment on the quarters ahead, saying that adjusted earnings margin before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization could be even or slightly positive for the second quarter. That margin was -7% in the first quarter and should be higher in the second half of the year than it was in the first half, Airbnb said in a letter to shareholders.

“We assume that sales in the second quarter of 2021 will be significantly higher than in the second quarter of 2020 in view of the effects of Covid-19 on the same period of the previous year and at a similar level to the second quarter of 2019,” the company said. “In the second quarter of 2021, we expect the positive momentum of the recovery in the first quarter of 2021 to be partially offset by the ongoing uncertainty about travel restrictions and bans in EMEA.”

The company said it was too early to say whether the recovery in the first half of the year will stay the same in the second half.

“Although lead times for bookings are starting to increase compared to Q4 2020,
In the second half of 2021, growth trends are still limited, “Airbnb said.” With the increasing availability of vaccines and the easing of some travel restrictions, guests have a greater willingness to search for and book trips later in the year. This is offset by the difficulty of predicting factors such as future Covid-19 outbreaks or travel restrictions around the world that will affect the actual rate at which guests complete their stays (at which point we record revenue). “

This is the second time Airbnb has announced its public company financial performance after completing its IPO in December. Airbnb shares have fallen about 8% since the beginning of 2021, while the S&P 500 index has risen about 10% over the same period.

CLOCK: Airbnb CEO on campaign to attract more hosts when demand increases