Staff at an Irish unit of Airbnb last year enjoyed a pay bonanza following a share-based payment windfall of $55.46m.

According to new accounts lodged with the Companies Office, 444 staff at Airbnb Ireland Unlimited Company (UC) last year shared a pay package of $98.6m.

The pay package at the main Irish arm of the operator of the global accommodation website is made up of salary costs of $43.14m and share-based payments of $55.46m.

The $98.6m equates to an average pay of $222,105 for the year.

The share-based payments of $55.46m followed payments of only $267,000 under that heading in 2019.

It contributed to overall pay for workers more than doubling from $39.36m in 2019 to $98.6m last year.

Airbnb has its HQ for its Europe, the Middle East and Africa operations in Dublin and the customer support, administration and marketing staff at Airbnb Ireland UC enjoyed the large pay package hikes as revenues at the company plunged by 38%, from $2.9 billion to $1.79 billion last year.

The Dublin-based company operates the online marketplace for Airbnb outside of the US, China and a portion of Japan.

The firm recorded a pre-tax loss of $3 billion and this arose mainly from a non-cash write down of $2.57 billion concerning intellectual property.

The losses also take account of combined non-cash amortisation and depreciation costs of $422m.

The directors state that in addition to the Covid-19 impact on the financial results, the impairment of the intellectual property was a primary factor in the overall results for 2020.

The directors state that in early 2020, as Covid disrupted travel around the world, Airbnb's business declined significantly.

They state: "But within a couple of months, the business model started to rebound even with limited international travel.

"Notwithstanding this rebound, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to materially and adversely impact our turnover and financial results for 2021."

Employee numbers declined from 498 to 444 during the year.

Directors’ pay last year increased almost three fold to $2.6m made up of emoluments of $622,000, benefits under a long term incentive scheme of $1.98m and pension contributions of $16,000.

Airbnb Ireland UC sold its intellectual property rights in relation to the EMEA and APAC (Asia Pacific) region during the year to its parent, Airbnb Global Holdings for $3.6bn though this had no impact on the company’s profit and loss account.

The directors state that following the sale and distribution of the intellectual property during the year, the company transitioned to a limited risk distributor model and is remunerated accordingly.

On contingencies facing the company, a note states that certain jurisdictions have alleged that the company’s operations violate laws or ordinances and in some cases, have assessed fines or penalties.

The note states: "While not anticipated based on current knowledge, adverse outcomes could materially impact the company’s ability to operate in certain jurisdictions in the future".

At the end of December 2020, Airbnb Ireland UC had shareholder funds of $102m.

The company’s cash funds last year increased from $92.1m to $140m.