By Sara O’Brien, CNN Business
Demand for Airbnb bookings continues to soar even as high gas prices and inflation weigh on consumers and the economy.
Airbnb said Tuesday that it had 103.7 million bookings on its platform during the three months ended in June, a new quarterly high for the company and a 24% increase from the same period in 2019, before its business was devastated by the pandemic.
With that jump in bookings, Airbnb posted revenue of $2.1 billion, up 58% compared to the year prior. The company also reported a net income of $379 million, marking its most profitable June quarter ever.
Airbnb also benefited from higher average daily rates. At $164, the average daily rate was down slightly compared to the first three months of this year but up 40% compared to the same period in 2019. Notably, Airbnb said bookings in high-density urban areas, which typically garner higher rates, increased compared to earlier this year and exceeded pre-pandemic levels.
Shares of Airbnb were down 4% in after hours trading Tuesday following the results.
The results highlight both the revival of the travel sector and the durability of Airbnb’s business more than two years into the pandemic. In the first months after Covid-19 hit, Airbnb reduced its spending and cut a quarter of its global workforce to weather what its CEO then said was a “standstill” in global travel.
“We’ve kept this discipline ever since, allowing our hiring and investment plans to remain unchanged since the beginning of the year,” the company said in a shareholder letter. A growing number of tech companies are now announcing hiring freezes and layoffs amid a wave of economic uncertainty this year, but Airbnb says it is “well positioned for whatever lies ahead.”
Signaling its confidence, Airbnb announced to shareholders a $2 billion share repurchase program, a first for the company. Airbnb says this move will allow it to offset dilution from employee stock programs.
The company said it expects the current quarter to be an “inflection point” in its pandemic recovery, and noted that it anticipates reporting its highest quarterly revenue ever for the three months ending in September. Another positive sign for the company: July 4th was its highest single day of revenue ever, it said.
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