Airbnb cuts second quarter loss to $ 68 million, COVID cloud forecast shows – Boston 25 News

Airbnb said Thursday it reduced its second-quarter loss to $ 68 million and gave bullish revenue forecasts, but the company warned that new COVID-19 variants would make future bookings and cancellations more difficult to predict.

Airbnb said vaccinations, containment of COVID-19 variants and restrictions on global travel will affect bookings for the rest of the year.

“We don’t yet know how willing people will be to travel in the fall versus the summer,” the company told shareholders.

Shares of the San Francisco-based home-sharing company fell nearly 5% amid the extended trade.

Airbnb’s business has picked up with the resumption of travel which, at least to the United States, began earlier this year as Americans began to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Many vacationers have sought to avoid crowds and avoid hotels, creating an advantage for Airbnb and its rival Vrbo.

Roommates are less dependent than hotels on business travelers, who have taken much longer to get back on the road.

However, like airlines, house rental companies face new uncertainty due to the recent increase in COVID-19 infections. Last week, Expedia Inc., owner of Vrbo, reported that travel and cancellation rates rose in July and travel prospects remain uncertain.

Despite the precarious state of the pandemic, Airbnb expects to post record third quarter revenue, “well above” the 2019 peak of $ 1.65 billion. This is based on a sharp increase in unearned fees, or revenue that, based on bookings, the business expects to receive after customers check in.

The company spends a lot to recruit new hosts. CEO Brian Chesky said he was tweaking his product to attract people who are increasingly flexible about when and where to travel and who combine work and leisure for long trips.

Airbnb has said stays of at least 28 days are its fastest growing category.

“Flexibility is now an integral part of travel,” Chesky said on a call with analysts. “We’re going to continue to see more and more long-term stays, and I think this will help us smooth out our seasonality over the next few years. “

In the second quarter, Airbnb’s loss compared to same-quarter losses of $ 576 million last year and $ 297 million in 2019. This is a loss of 11 cents per share, lower than the loss of 36 cents per share predicted by analysts in a FactSet survey.

Revenue increased 10% from 2019, to $ 1.34 billion, beating analysts’ forecast of $ 1.26 billion.

The average daily rate for an Airbnb rental is up 41% from a year ago, to $ 161, which the company says partly reflects a higher percentage of bookings made in North America. He said price increases from hosts in high-demand destinations also increased the average price.

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David Koenig can be contacted at www.twitter.com/airlinewriter

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