Uber claimed it was “firing on all cylinders” as it reported the continued recovery of its rideshare business, particularly in Asia and the US, as well as sustained growth in its delivery business.
The company recorded its highest quarter of gross bookings — the total value of all transactions — totalling $19.5bn, up 24 per cent on the same period last year, when the early effects of the pandemic had started strangling Uber’s business.
Revenue for the quarter came in at $2.9bn, below analysts’ estimates. That included a $600m accrual for costs it expects to bear in the future to settle historical wage claims in the UK related to a landmark court defeat over worker classification that will lead to extra benefits for drivers in the country.
Discounting the accrual, Uber said its total revenues were $3.5bn, up 8 per cent year on year, exceeding analysts’ estimates. As has been the case for most of the pandemic, the company’s delivery division’s $1.7bn accounted for the bulk of sales, a 230 per cent increase from the first quarter of 2020.
A one-off $1.6bn windfall from the sale of its self-driving division helped Uber come within touching distance of a profitable quarter, recording a net loss of $108m compared to $2.9bn in the same quarter a year ago.
Uber’s preferred measure of performance, adjusted ebitda, also came in well ahead of analysts’ expectations with a $349m loss, a 41 per cent improvement on 2020. Wall Street had expected a $452m loss, according to FactSet.
“Uber is starting to fire on all cylinders, as more consumers are riding with us again while continuing to use our expanding delivery offerings,” said chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi in a statement accompanying the filing.