BALANCE SHEET: In 2022, Airbnb posted net income of $1.9 billion with fourth-quarter revenue alone up 24% year-on-year
2022 has been a banner year for Airbnb. The company indeed achieved its best holiday season and its first profitable year, according to results published on Tuesday.
The accommodation reservation platform achieved $8.4 billion in revenue (+40% year-on-year) in 2022, from which it generated a net profit of $1.9 billion. In the fourth quarter, its revenues increased by 24% over one year, despite a difficult economic context marked by inflation and massive social plans in the United States.
Results hailed by investors
Above all, over this last period, its net profit was almost multiplied by five, to 319 million dollars, well beyond market expectations. This is the “most profitable fourth quarter” in Airbnb’s history, said the Californian group. Direct consequence: its title took more than 9% during electronic trading after the closing of the New York Stock Exchange.
Brian Chesky, the company’s boss, was also optimistic for the current quarter, with users who “reserve more and more in advance”. “Travellers have started visiting cities again and travelling abroad. (This kind of travel) was Airbnb’s livelihood before the pandemic,” he said.
The platform had 6.6 million homes open for rent at the end of December or 16% more than a year ago, and this without counting China. An acceleration of the offer that Brian Chesky put on the account of the attraction for individuals to generate additional income “often essential in these difficult times”, but also improvements in the service.
Airbnb has indeed set up in the fall a system that allows neophyte hosts to be advised by experienced hosts, paid by the company. “The number of new active hosts recruited with the help of our ‘super hosts’ has increased by 20%,” assured Brian Chesky. The platform has also added the possibility of verifying the identity of travellers and increased the amount of damage covered by its AirCover insurance.
A “fairly gradual recovery” in China
In China, Airbnb, on the other hand, expects a “fairly gradual recovery”. In the spring of 2022, the group had decided to suspend its offer of accommodation for rent there because of the repeated confinements since the beginning of 2020, but the platform remained open to Chinese wishing to rent accommodation abroad. “We think there are going to be hundreds of millions of people who want (…) to travel the world,” indicated the boss of the company, referring in particular to those under 30 who “really want authentic experiences when they travel”.
In 2020, faced with the Covid-19 pandemic and health restrictions, Airbnb had to lay off a quarter of its workforce and review its priorities. “I had tried to create too many things at the same time”, acknowledged Brian Chesky last November.