Uber's first-quarter revenue jumps 29% as ride-sharing business grows

The company is bullish about profit after registering a strong start to 2023

FILE - In this March 15, 2017, file photo, a sign marks a pick up point for the Uber car service at LaGuardia Airport in New York. Ride-hailing giant Uber has filed confidential preliminary paperwork for selling stock to the public. That's according to a report late Friday, Dec. 7, 2018 in the Wall Street Journal. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
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Uber Technologies forecast quarterly core earnings above estimates on Tuesday, after a surge in demand for travel and food deliveries helped the US ride-sharing business to report better-than-expected results for the January to March period.

The shares of the company rose by 10 per cent, while those of smaller peer Lyft gained 4 per cent in premarket trading.

Uber's revenue in the first quarter jumped 29 per cent to $8.83 billion, beating estimates of $8.72 billion, mainly driven by a 72 per cent growth in the ride-hailing segment.

However, gross bookings of $31.41 billion came in slightly below the estimate of $31.49 billion.

Uber said adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) — one of its closely watched financial metrics — came in at $761 million, its highest on record as a public company. The company has been reporting a positive figure since the third quarter of the 2021 fiscal year.

The US ride-sharing company is benefitting from its dominant position in key global markets as travel rebounds from a coronavirus-induced lull.

A jump in the number of people looking to gain additional income is also helping platforms such as Uber to squeeze out higher profit by offering lower incentives to gig workers, analysts have said.

“Our clear lead on driver preference has allowed us to better serve this growing demand: 5.7 million drivers and couriers earned $13.7 billion [including tips] on Uber during the quarter, both all-time highs,” said chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi.

After a tepid performance in the last two years, “the rideshare category in the United States and Canada is now growing faster in 2023”, he said.

The company expects ebitda to be in the range of $800 million to $850 million for the quarter ending June. That is higher than analyst estimates of $749.1 million, according to Refinitiv.

The company also forecast gross bookings, the total dollar value from its services, of $33 billion to $34 billion, compared with expectations of $33 billion.

Updated: May 02, 2023, 11:45 AM