Airbnb bucked investor concerns and reported its first-ever profitable year in 2022, as consumers continued to seek out travel and experiences despite economic uncertainties.
The home-sharing company recorded a profit of $1.9 billion in 2022, a stark contrast from its $352 million loss in 2021. For the fourth quarter alone, it beat expectations to post $319 million in net income. Airbnb said that guest demand stayed strong throughout the past year, with travelers returning to larger cities and crossing borders following a pandemic lull. Cities have historically been one the strongest areas within Airbnb. “This has been the bread and butter of Airbnb before the pandemic,” CEO Brian Chesky said on a call with investors. A strong U.S. dollar has also allowed consumers to spend more on travel, pushing back concerns over discretionary spending. The company said it forecasts Q1 revenue between $1.75 billion and $1.82 billion, which is better than the $1.69 billion Wall Street expected.
“We’re particularly encouraged by European guests booking their summer travel earlier this year, the market share gains we are seeing in Latin America, as well as the continued recovery within Asia Pacific,” the company said in its shareholder letter.
As part of a focus on bringing more hosts and properties to its platform, Airbnb has increased efforts on making potential hosts feel more comfortable listing their homes. For example, the company launched a campaign in November that connects hosts with long-time listers, requires more stringent identity verification, and increases its damage protection.