Airbnb forecasts weaker Q2 revenue despite robust demand for international travel

Illustration shows Airbnb logo

(This May 8 story has been corrected to clarify that nights and experiences booked rose to 133 million, not $133 million, in paragraph 3)

By Doyinsola Oladipo and Aishwarya Jain

(Reuters) - Airbnb reported a higher quarterly profit on Wednesday but forecast second-quarter revenue below Wall Street expectations, sending shares of the vacation rental company down 8% after the bell.

Accommodation companies in the first quarter have seen the demand for travel in regions outside of North America boost earnings as travel accelerates in Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

Airbnb's first-quarter revenue rose 18% year-over-year to $2.14 billion. However, the company forecast second-quarter revenue between $2.68 billion and $2.74 billion, below analysts' estimates of $2.74 billion, due in part to currency exchange rates and the timing of the Easter holiday.

The holiday was beneficial to the first quarter as more people traveled, but it may weigh on bookings in the second quarter, the company said.

"We'd like to deliver higher growth than stable growth, but our outlook obviously reflects the trends that we have seen quarter-to-date," Chief Financial Officer Ellie Mertz said on a call with analysts.

Nights and experiences booked in the first quarter increased 9.5% year-over-year to about 133 million driven by a 21% and 19% growth in bookings in Asia-Pacific and Latin America, respectively. The company said bookings in North America "slightly decelerated" during the quarter.

The San Francisco-based company reported net income of $264 million, or 41 cents per share, for the quarter ended March, which beat analyst expectations of 24 cents per share, according to LSEG.

The average cost per night in an Airbnb or average daily rate was $173 in the reported quarter, a 3% rise compared to the year prior. The company saw an increase in shorter stays and bookings of entire homes which drove margin growth.

Active listings on the platform grew 17% year-over-year with Asia and Latin America leading the additions.

Looking ahead to the summer, Airbnb said it expects year-over-year revenue growth to accelerate in the third quarter due in part to travel demand centered around international events like the Olympics and Euro Cup.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Jain in Bengaluru and Doyinsola Oladipo in New York; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)