Uber's first-quarter revenue more than doubles as bookings grow

Company reported adjusted earnings of $168m in three months to end of March

Uber reported strong growth in bookings during the first quarter. Reuters
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Uber's revenue surged in the first quarter of the year, underpinned by a recovery in its ride-hailing and delivery businesses in the January to March period.

The California-based company’s revenue in the three months to the end of March soared 136 per cent on an annualised basis to more than $6.9 billion, surpassing analysts’ estimate of $6.1bn, as gross bookings grew 35 per cent annually to $26.4bn.

Uber was trading almost 7 per cent down at $27.5 a share in premarket trading on Tuesday. The company’s stocks are down more than 33 per cent since the start of the year.

The company reported adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of $168 million during the quarter, compared with a loss of $359m in the prior year period. The results marked the company’s third profitable quarter.

Net loss in the quarter soared to $5.9bn compared to $108m in the same period in 2021. That includes a $5.6bn headwind relating to Uber’s equity investments, primarily due to unrealised losses related to the revaluation of Uber’s Grab, Aurora and Didi stakes, the company said on Wednesday.

“Our results demonstrate just how much progress we have made navigating out of the pandemic and how the power of our platform is differentiating our business performance,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive of Uber.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Uber’s overall business primarily relied on its delivery unit, which includes Uber Eats. However, its mobility division's revenue slightly surpassed delivery sales in the last quarter.

Mobility business accounted for about 36.7 per cent of the company's overall revenue in the quarter, with mobility sales surging 195 per cent annually to more than $2.5bn.

Uber's delivery business grew 44 per cent annually to $2.5bn in the three-month period, while its freight division jumped 505 per cent to $1.8bn.

“In April, mobility gross bookings exceeded 2019 levels across all regions and use cases. There has never been a more exciting time to innovate at Uber and we are focused on executing our strategy to grow our platform profitably,” Mr Khosrowshahi said.

Uber’s delivery gross bookings increased 12 per cent yearly during the first quarter to $13.9bn and mobility gross bookings surged 58 per cent to $10.7bn.

Airport gross bookings represented 13 per cent of mobility gross bookings in the quarter, compared to 15 per cent before the pandemic, outpacing the segment’s recovery as consumer travel trends improved, the company said.

Uber's revenue in the US and Canada accounted for 66.6 per cent of the company's total sales in the first quarter, jumping almost 147 per cent yearly to more than $4.6bn.

Sales grew 43 per cent in Latin America to $432m and nearly 400 per cent in Europe, the Middle East and Africa to $1.1bn. Sales in the Asia-Pacific region increased about 39 per cent to $733m.

“We are pleased with our first-quarter results, with outperformance of our quarterly guidance and strong incremental margins,” said Nelson Chai, Uber’s chief financial officer.

“With free cash flow approaching breakeven in the first quarter, we now expect to generate meaningful positive free cash flows for full-year 2022.”

The company said unrestricted cash and cash equivalents were at $4.2bn as of March 31, a quarterly drop of almost 2.3 per cent. Uber’s net cash provided by operating activities stood at $15m.

Uber expects gross bookings of $28.5bn to $29.5bn with an adjusted Ebitda of $240m to $270m in the current quarter ending June 30.

The number of monthly active platform consumers reached 115 million from January to March, jumping 17 per cent annually but dropping 2.5 per cent compared with the previous quarter.

Trips during the first quarter period grew 18 per cent year-on-year to 1.71 billion, or about 18.9 million trips per day on average, Uber said.

Drivers and couriers earned nearly $9bn in the quarter, up 39 per cent on an annual basis.

Updated: May 04, 2022, 3:03 PM