Uber records 140% jump in Q4 profit as bookings increase

The company’s net income in the December quarter surged to more than $1.4bn

FILE - In this June 21, 2017, file photo a man walks into the building that houses the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco. Uber and at least five other major California companies are scheduled to go public this year, and when it happens it will produce a tax windfall for state government. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg,File)
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Ride-hailing company Uber reported a 140 per cent annual jump in its fourth-quarter net profit, boosted by an increase in gross bookings.

The company’s net income in the three months to the end of December surged to more than $1.4 billion, or 66 cents per share, compared with $595 million, or 29 cents per share, in the prior year period.

Its operating income stood at $652 million in the quarter, up from a loss of $142 million in the same period in 2022.

The California-based company’s fourth-quarter revenue rose 15 per cent on an annual basis to more than $9.9 billion, surpassing analysts’ expectations of $9.7 billion.

For the full 2023 fiscal year, Uber's net profit increased to almost $1.9 billion, from a loss of $9.1 billion in 2022, while revenue surged 17 per cent annually to more than $37.3 billion in the January-December period.

“2023 was an inflection point for Uber, proving that we can continue to generate strong, profitable growth at scale,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber's chief executive.

“Our audiences are larger and more engaged than ever, with our platform powering an average of nearly 26 million daily trips last year.”

Uber's combined mobility and delivery divisions revenue grew 22 per cent year on year to $8.7 billion in the fourth quarter.

The company also crossed 2.6 billion trips in the last quarter – an average of nearly 1.16 million trips per hour, or almost 28 million trips per day, with the company defining trips as the number of completed consumer mobility rides and delivery orders in a given period.

The monthly active platform consumers reached 150 million in the previous quarter, up 15 per cent annually.

Following the earnings announcement, shares of Uber surged 1.84 per cent to trade at $77.77 at 11.30am New York time. The company’s market capitalisation stood at more than $147.69 billion as of Wednesday.

The company’s gross bookings surged 22 per cent year on year to more than $37.6 billion in the fourth quarter, up more than 6.5 per cent on a quarterly basis.

Delivery gross bookings increased 19 per cent during the October-December period to $17 billion and mobility bookings surged 29 per cent to $19.3 billion.

Freight unit bookings – which include transport, logistics, supply chain and storage solutions – dropped 17 per cent yearly to almost $1.3 billion.

“Uber’s platform advantages and disciplined investment in new growth opportunities resulted in record engagement and accelerating gross bookings,” said Prashanth Mahendra-Rajah, Uber's chief financial officer.

The company said the unrestricted cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments were $5.4 billion as of December 31.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Uber reported an adjusted income of $1.3 billion before interest, tax and other expenses in the three months to end of December. That was a $618 million improvement over the same period in 2022.

In its first-quarter outlook, the company expects gross bookings to grow in the range of $37 billion to $38.5 billion. It expects its adjusted income to range between $1.26 billion and $1.34 billion.

Uber is expected to disclose more about its strategy and capital allocation plans at its investor update next week.

The company spent nearly $784 million on research and development, about 7.8 per cent of its total sales in the quarter. This is 5 per cent more than what was spent on research and development in the same period in 2022.

The company said drivers and couriers earned $17.2 billion during the last quarter, an annual rise of 24 per cent.

Last year, Uber, which has committed to becoming a zero-emissions mobility platform by 2040, also announced a mobility partnership with an autonomous driving technology company Waymo in Phoenix.

Updated: February 08, 2024, 4:10 AM