Airbnb confident on revenue as travel demand defies recession fears

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Airbnb Inc on Tuesday forecast current-quarter revenue above market estimates on resilient travel demand and said it would keep a tight lid on costs to protect margins, sending its shares 10 per cent higher in extended trading.

The rental firm said it expects to maintain last year's margin of 35 per cent, the highest since it went public in 2020, despite recession fears that have sparked concerns about consumer spending.

It said domestic and short-distance travel continued to be strong, boosting occupancy rates at popular urban destinations, and noted improvement in long-distance and cross-border travel during the reported quarter, helped by a stronger dollar and border reopening.

"We're particularly encouraged by European guests booking their summer travel earlier this year," Airbnb said.

The company forecast first-quarter revenue between $1.75 billion and $1.82 billion, higher than analysts' average expectation of $1.69 billion, as per Refinitiv data.

It also forecast that average rates for its rentals would fall slightly in the current quarter and remain pressured through 2023, as vacationers return to lower-cost urban rentals.

Revenue in the holiday quarter ended December rose 24 per cent to $1.90 billion, lower than the preceding two quarters, but beat analysts' average estimate of $1.86 billion.

Meanwhile, average daily rates fell 1 per cent to $153 and bookings rose 20 per cent to $13.5 billion, below analysts' average expectation of $13.69 billion.

Airbnb reported a quarterly net profit of $319 million, or 48 cents per share, above estimates of 25 cents per share, according to Refinitiv data.

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