Uber posts a loss despite revenue more than doubling as driver incentives increase

California-based company’s gross bookings surged 114% to 21.9bn

Uber's revenue in the US and Canada jumped 76% to about $2bn in the past quarter. EPA
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Uber posted a second quarter loss despite revenue rebounding as the company increased spending to retain and attract riders back to its network.

The company reported an adjusted loss of $509 million before interest, tax and other expenses in the three months to end of June. That was $150m less from the prior quarter but a $328m improvement from the same period last year.

Industry analysts had predicted a loss of $325m, an average compiled by Bloomberg showed. The company's share price fell about 4.7 per cent in extended trading.

In the second quarter, we invested in recovery by investing in drivers and we made strong progress
Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s chief executive

Uber spent nearly $250m on driver-incentives in the April-June period, which analysts said escalated losses for its ride-hail business and affected the overall business.

The California-based company’s revenue in the quarter soared 105 per cent on an annualised basis to $3.9 billion, surpassing the analysts' estimate of $3.7bn.

“In the second quarter, we invested in recovery by investing in drivers and we made strong progress, with monthly active drivers and couriers in the US increasing by nearly 420,000 from February to July,” Uber’s chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said.

“Our platform is getting stronger each quarter, with consumers who engage with both mobility and delivery now generating nearly half of our total company gross bookings,” he added.

The company reiterated its goal of hitting profitability on an adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) basis at the end of this year. It said the loss will be less than $100m in the third quarter ending on September 30.

Uber has made large investments in the second quarter to improve marketplace balance and the company is “now well positioned to reach adjusted Ebitda profitability by the last quarter” of this fiscal year, Uber’s chief financial officer Nelson Chai said.

FILE PHOTO: Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi pictured on stage during an event in New York City, New York, U.S., September 5, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

“As we make progress towards that important milestone, we expect our adjusted Ebitda loss in the third quarter to improve to less than $100m in addition to record gross bookings between $22bn and $24bn,” said Mr Chai.

The company reported a net income attributable to Uber Technologies of $1.1bn for the quarter, which was primarily due to the unrealised gains of $1.4bn in Didi and $471m in Aurora.

The company's stock fell more than 7 per cent to $41.80 a share in after-hours trading after closing the regular session down 2.2 per cent. The share price has increased more than 25 per cent in the past 12 months.

The company’s gross bookings surged 114 per cent year-on-year to 21.9bn in the second quarter. That's $2.4bn, or more than 12 per cent, up on a quarterly basis.

Delivery gross bookings increased 85 per cent during the period to $12.9bn and mobility bookings surged 184 per cent to $8.6bn.

The company said the unrestricted cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments were $5bn as of June 30.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Revenue in the US and Canada jumped nearly almost 76 per cent yearly to about $2bn in the past quarter. It grew 44 per cent in Latin America to $307m and 159 per cent in Europe, the Middle East and Africa to $929m.

It also increased about 227 per cent to $709m in the Asia-Pacific region.

Trips on Uber’s platform grew 4 per cent quarterly and 105 per cent on an annual basis to 1.51 billion in the second quarter.

The monthly active platform consumers (MAPC) reached 101 million, up 84 per cent annually. On average, each MAPC spent approximately $72 per month and used the platform nearly five times per month during the second quarter, the company said in a statement.

Uber said it is focused on further consolidating its business by making news acquisitions and entering into partnerships with other entities.

Last month, it joined forces with American grocery company Albertsons to offer on-demand and scheduled grocery delivery to customers in major US markets by the end of this year.

In May, it entered into an agreement with the UK tech firm Arrival to design a purpose-built, fully electric vehicle for the ride-hailing industry. The Arrival Car is expected to enter production in the third quarter of 2023.

Updated: August 05, 2021, 3:16 AM