– Airbnb revenue
Room upgrade. Airbnb might have more staying power than the travel industry itself. The $97 billion vacation booking platform’s post-pandemic rebound should make it more profitable than ever. Being light on assets makes it nimble, but general manager Brian Chesky took the necessary risks.
Airbnb has adapted to a world of closures and travel restrictions, as bookings have moved away from densely populated cities and refocused on national getaways rather than across borders. After plummeting in 2020, last year’s revenue of nearly $6 billion was about 25% ahead of 2019. Results released Tuesday show growth picking up: revenue up 70% year-over-year to reach $1.5 billion for the quarter.
Profitability also improved, with EBITDA moving into positive territory at $229 million. This is the key. Fast-growing disruptors are often reluctant to cut costs. But Chesky tightened Airbnb’s belt, including the difficult decision to lay off 25% of staff. This takes Airbnb out of the danger zone of former high-flying unicorns stumbling on the transition to profitability — whether or not investors give it an upgrade. (By Jonathan Guilford)
Excess baggage. Bernard Looney’s derussified early results should be cause for celebration. While the BP boss had to swallow a $24 billion hit for writing down the value of his 20% stake in Rosneft, he also made $6.2 billion in underlying profits in the first quarter. thanks to exorbitant oil and gas prices. As well as beating analysts’ expectations by 39%, it allowed the $100 billion British oil major to reduce its net debt and lessen the hit to its balance sheet by exiting Russia.
There is such a thing as doing too well, however. Politicians hunting for tax bargains in Spain and Italy are scrambling for lucrative targets – many power groups are not reaping windfall profits after selling their power forward when prices were lower. BP’s first-quarter profits, however, eclipse 2021’s $2.6bn. Finance Rishi Sunak regarding an exceptional tax. Prime Minister Boris Johnson certainly seems to be against a raid. But with an additional $2.5 billion in share buybacks announced on Tuesday, BP could still be outmaneuvered. (By George Hay)