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Airbnb said to double revenue to US$1b last quarter

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Airbnb doubled net revenue in the third quarter and remains on a profitability streak, as the business builds toward an initial public offering expected next year, according to people familiar with its financial results.

[SAN FRANCISCO] - Airbnb doubled net revenue in the third quarter and remains on a profitability streak, as the business builds toward an initial public offering expected next year, according to people familiar with its financial results.

The home-rental company has maintained a steady profit before interest, taxes and amortization for at least 17 months, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing the private company's earnings.

In the quarter that ended in September, Airbnb pulled in about US$1 billion, up from US$500 million in the same period last year, one of the people said.

Morgan Stanley raised concerns about Airbnb's growth last week. A report from the firm said the frequency of bookings slowed, based on an online survey of 4,000 customers from the US, UK, France and Germany.

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The survey didn't include Latin America and Asia. Airbnb's growth in those two regions has put the company on track to end this year with 60 per cent more bookings than last year, said two people. Asia saw an 80 per cent increase in bookings since late last year, and Latin America grew 150 per cent, said one of the people.

Profitability and revenue growth are important metrics for the nine-year-old travel upstart, which is under pressure to justify its private valuation of US$31 billion. Airbnb first became profitable during the second half of 2016.

Airbnb chief executive officer Brian Chesky has said he expects his company to file for an IPO next year.

In addition to expanding globally, the San Francisco-based company is experimenting with new product categories like luxury accommodations, Airbnb-branded apartment buildings and guided tours. Last year, Airbnb introduced a service that sells hat-making classes, truffle-hunting expeditions and other tourism experiences. In February, Airbnb purchased Luxury Retreats, a vacation-home management company that specializes in providing travelers with a concierge, massages and child care.

The wide range of businesses is designed to make Airbnb a full-service travel company that can compete with Priceline Group and Expedia.

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