(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 07, 2018 The New York Taxi Workers Alliance holds a vigil outside City Hall  in New York in support of for-hire-vehicle cap. - New York's city council on August 8, 2018, dealt a blow to Uber and other car-for-hire companies, passing a bill to cap the number of vehicles they operate and impose minimum pay standards on drivers. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP)
Uber growth faces risks from decisions such as that by New York to cap licenses for ride-hailing services for one year. AFP

Uber narrows loss but is a long way from finding profit



Uber said on Wednesday that it narrowed its quarterly losses from a year earlier, although the ride-hailing company is still a long way from proving it can be profitable as it gears up to go public in 2019.

Under the leadership of Dara Khosrowshahi, who became chief executive in September, Uber has juggled investing in new markets while retreating from others where it was losing millions of dollars. It is building services such as food delivery and freight hauling as it seeks new revenue, and possibly a path to profitability, outside its core business.

Uber's net loss narrowed to US$891 million (Dh3.27 billion) in its second quarter ending June 30, from $1.1bn a year earlier. Its adjusted loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation was $614m, down from $773m a year earlier.

Net revenue rose faster than gross bookings in the second quarter from the prior period as the company dialled back on promotional subsidies of rides.

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But its growth faces risks from decisions such as that by New York this month to cap licences for ride-hailing services for one year. Uber has also had to grapple with corporate scandals, and has lingering and costly legal battles, including over its classification of drivers as independent contractors, and federal probes to resolve.

“I remain unimpressed,” said Brent Goldfarb, associate professor of management and entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland. Improving losses by cutting “the lowest hanging fruit doesn’t mean the underlying model is profitable”.

The company's most recent valuation was pegged earlier this year at $72bn. But that was based on Uber becoming the global winner in ride-hailing and logistics, a vision it has retrenched from, and public investors may see a smaller company worth less.

Uber can expect a valuation haircut in an IPO if it does not show more progress towards becoming profitable, said David Brophy, professor of finance at the University of Michigan.

Adjusted losses in the first quarter were $312m, excluding gains from Uber selling some overseas businesses to local competitors. The sale of its Russia and South East Asia operations resulted in a one-time $2.5bn gain in the first quarter and lowered second-quarter costs.

Under pressure from its board, Uber has endeavoured to find more savings after years of a growth-at-all-cost mentality under prior chief executive Travis Kalanick, enabled by billions of dollars in private investment.

The company had $12bn in quarterly gross bookings, which includes rides and Uber Eats, up 6 per cent from the previous quarter and about 40 per cent from a year before.

Net revenue, which strips out what is paid to drivers as well as promotions and refunds, was $2.8bn, up 8 per cent over the first quarter and more than 60 per cent from last year.

“We had another great quarter, continuing to grow at an impressive rate for a business of our scale,” Mr Khosrowshahi said in a statement.

Uber is a private company and not required to publicly disclose its finances, but recently boosted transparency by starting to release selected figures as it eyes an initial public offering.

Faced with criticism about flooding cities with cars, Uber is spending on bike and scooter rentals, including its acquisition of Jump electric bikes in April.

While Uber has retreated from China, South East Asia and Russia, it says it is sticking with India and the Middle East, tough markets with strong local competitors.

“We are cementing our leadership position,” in India and the Middle East, Mr Khosrowshahi said.

Several Uber investors have told Reuters they want Uber to also leave these costly markets and focus on North America, where US-based Lyft continues to pose a threat, and pull back on ancillary businesses such as Uber Freight.

Uber has $7.3bn in cash on hand, up $1bn from the end of the first quarter. The company listed an inflow of $1.5bn from term loan issuance, net of costs.

The biog

Age: 32

Qualifications: Diploma in engineering from TSI Technical Institute, bachelor’s degree in accounting from Dubai’s Al Ghurair University, master’s degree in human resources from Abu Dhabi University, currently third years PHD in strategy of human resources.

Favourite mountain range: The Himalayas

Favourite experience: Two months trekking in Alaska

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6.30pm: Handicap | US$135,000 (Dirt) | 1,400 metres

Winner: Rodaini, Connor Beasley (jockey), Ahmad bin Harmash (trainer)

7.05pm: Handicap | $135,000 (Turf) | 1,200m

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7.40pm: Dubai Millennium Stakes | Group 3 | $200,000 (T) | 2,000m

Winner: Spotify, James Doyle, Charlie Appleby

8.15pm: UAE Oakes | Group 3 | $250,000 (D) | 1,900m

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8.50pm: Zabeel Mile | Group 2 | $250,000 (T) | 1,600m

Winner: Mythical Image, William Buick, Charlie Appleby

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Winner: Major Partnership, Kevin Stott, Saeed bin Suroor

What is dialysis?

Dialysis is a way of cleaning your blood when your kidneys fail and can no longer do the job.

It gets rid of your body's wastes, extra salt and water, and helps to control your blood pressure. The main cause of kidney failure is diabetes and hypertension.

There are two kinds of dialysis — haemodialysis and peritoneal.

In haemodialysis, blood is pumped out of your body to an artificial kidney machine that filter your blood and returns it to your body by tubes.

In peritoneal dialysis, the inside lining of your own belly acts as a natural filter. Wastes are taken out by means of a cleansing fluid which is washed in and out of your belly in cycles.

It isn’t an option for everyone but if eligible, can be done at home by the patient or caregiver. This, as opposed to home haemodialysis, is covered by insurance in the UAE.

THE SPECS

Engine: 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder

Transmission: Constant Variable (CVT)

Power: 141bhp 

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SPECS

Nissan 370z Nismo

Engine: 3.7-litre V6

Transmission: seven-speed automatic

Power: 363hp

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How to wear a kandura

Dos

  • Wear the right fabric for the right season and occasion 
  • Always ask for the dress code if you don’t know
  • Wear a white kandura, white ghutra / shemagh (headwear) and black shoes for work 
  • Wear 100 per cent cotton under the kandura as most fabrics are polyester

Don’ts 

  • Wear hamdania for work, always wear a ghutra and agal 
  • Buy a kandura only based on how it feels; ask questions about the fabric and understand what you are buying
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Director: James Wan

Starring: Jason Mamoa, Patrick Wilson, Amber Heard, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II 

Rating: 2/5

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home.

UAE medallists at Asian Games 2023

Gold
Magomedomar Magomedomarov – Judo – Men’s +100kg
Khaled Al Shehi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -62kg
Faisal Al Ketbi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -85kg
Asma Al Hosani – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -52kg
Shamma Al Kalbani – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -63kg
Silver
Omar Al Marzooqi – Equestrian – Individual showjumping
Bishrelt Khorloodoi – Judo – Women’s -52kg
Khalid Al Blooshi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -62kg
Mohamed Al Suwaidi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -69kg
Balqees Abdulla – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -48kg
Bronze
Hawraa Alajmi – Karate – Women’s kumite -50kg
Ahmed Al Mansoori – Cycling – Men’s omnium
Abdullah Al Marri – Equestrian – Individual showjumping
Team UAE – Equestrian – Team showjumping
Dzhafar Kostoev – Judo – Men’s -100kg
Narmandakh Bayanmunkh – Judo – Men’s -66kg
Grigorian Aram – Judo – Men’s -90kg
Mahdi Al Awlaqi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -77kg
Saeed Al Kubaisi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -85kg
Shamsa Al Ameri – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -57kg

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