Despite an impressive public debut in December that saw the company’s valuation at over $ 100 billion, the short-term landlord’s total revenue was down 30 percent year over year.
Despite an impressive public market debut in December when the company valued over $ 100 billion after its first day of trading, Airbnb posted a net loss of $ 4.6 billion for 2020 in its first earnings report released Thursday.
The short-term rental company had sales of 3.4 billion US dollars in the reporting year. That’s a 30 percent year-over-year decline, but is still better than original projections of a 50 percent (or more) year-over-year decline in sales at the height of the pandemic.
The company’s net loss was due to both the success of the travel industry as a result of the pandemic and a $ 2.8 billion non-cash stock-based compensation expense that the company acquired when it went public. These expenses contributed to a net loss of $ 3.9 billion in the fourth quarter, compared to a net loss of $ 352 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. Airbnb’s revenue in the fourth quarter of 2020 also contributed to that compared to last year was down 22 percent to $ 859 million compared to $ 1.1 billion last year.
“Our 2020 performance demonstrated that Airbnb is resilient and inherently adaptable,” said Brian Chesky, Airbnb co-founder and CEO, in a statement. “Travel is coming back and we’re focusing on preparing for the trip rebound.”
In a letter to shareholders, the company reiterated its resilience last year and was optimistic about a revitalized travel industry in the coming year. The letter also noted that in a recent Airbnb survey, 54 percent of respondents said they have already booked, are currently planning or are likely to travel in 2021. Over 50 percent of those surveyed also plan to keep this trip in Germany or on site.
In the coming year, the company also plans to introduce awareness raising efforts about what makes Airbnb unique, recruiting more hosts, simplifying the customer experience and “delivering great service.”
The company has suffered more and more pain over the years as new short-term rental regulations have emerged in various cities and states across the United States due to its growing popularity. In Arizona, among others, some homeowners are campaigning for laws to regulate short-term rents after noise, crime, falling property values increased and more of those rents hit the market.
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