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Airbnb is ‘optimistic about upcoming travel rebound’

Airbnb expects there will be a significant travel rebound in 2021 as borders open and restrictions lift around the world.

The short-term rental company posted a net loss in 2020 of $4.6 billion, compared to a net loss of $674 million in 2019.

Its fourth-quarter loss reached $3.9 billion, largely because of one-off compensation costs related to its IPO, which was the biggest US flotation of last year.

The Telegraph noted that US companies often report heavy paper losses immediately after going public, as they must record substantial costs related to stock-based employee compensation.

The pandemic meant that revenue for the year fell 30% year-on-year to $3.4 billion, and the number of nights and experiences booked fell 41% to 193 million.

The company posted a loss before interest and taxes (Ebitda) of £251 million for 2020, compared to an Ebitda loss of $253 million in 2019.

It told shareholders: “In the face of a crisis, our business proved to be resilient, showing that as the world changes, our model is able to adapt.”

Looking to 2021, it said: “As the vaccine is rolled out and restrictions lift, we expect there will be a significant travel rebound.”

It is seeing “gradual improvements in guests’ willingness to book stays”.

“For the remainder of the year, it is too early to predict overall recovery trends for the travel industry and their impact on our business,” it said.

“We have been encouraged by our continued resilience and recovery, and are optimistic about the upcoming travel rebound.

“However, we continue to have limited visibility for growth trends in 2021 given the difficulty in determining the pace of vaccine roll-outs and the related impact on willingness to travel.”

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