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Q4 earnings: Uber reports heavy losses as it heads closer to IPO

Ride-hailing firm Uber on Friday reported a massive adjusted loss of $768 million in the fourth quarter as its revenues slowed dramatically. For the full year, adjusted losses narrowed to $1.8 billion from $2.2 billion a year ago, not taking into account its sale of business units in Southeast Asia and Russia to Grab and Yandex respectively.

The annual revenue hike of 43% represented a deceleration of over 60% from the rate reported at the end of last year.

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

Revenue for the fourth quarter was $3 billion, up 25%, as gross booking jumped 37% to a record $14.2 billion.

Though a private firm, the San Francisco-based company regularly reports its quarterly performance, in view of its initial public offering, expected later this year.

The fourth quarter results also mark the completion of Dara Khosrowshahi at the helm of the company. He took over as the CEO in November 2017 after founder Travis Kalanick was embroiled in numerous controversies.

Uber’s profitability has been marred by its ambitious dream of establishing itself as a one-stop solution for all transportation and logistics needs. The company has been investing in a wide range of offerings – from electric bikes to flying to cars – all of which are heavy on the company’s wallet.

Uber is also investing heavily on its food delivery segment, which has been seeing considerable success. The segment made up 17% of its revenue in the last reported quarter. Uber will be looking to expand this service to more areas this year.

Uber’s core business of ride-hailing has been experiencing stiff competition from Lyft in the US and other players including Yandex, Grab, Didi Chuxing and Ola in other major global markets. Lyft had filed for its own public listing only hours before Uber.

CFO Nelson Chai said in a statement, “In 2018, our ride-sharing business maintained category leadership in all regions we serve, Uber Freight gained exciting traction in the US, JUMP e-bikes and e-scooters are on the road in over a dozen cities, and we believe Uber Eats became the largest online food delivery business outside of China, based on gross bookings.”

 

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