Uber lost USD1.8B in Q2 as riders stayed home and ordered in

NEW YORK (AP) – Uber lost USD1.78 billion in the second quarter as the pandemic carved a gaping hole in its ride-hailing business, with millions of people staying home to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

It’s pinning its hopes in part on its booming food-delivery business, but that bustling corner of the company didn’t turn a profit.

The San Francisco-based ride-hailing giant brought in USD2.24 billion in revenue during the second quarter, down 27 per cent from the same time last year, on a constant currency basis, the company said on Thursday.

Uber’s mobility business, which includes ride-hailing and micro-mobility options such as scooters and bikes, saw its revenue shrink to USD790 million, down 67 per cent from USD2.38 billion a year ago.

“While we would have all hoped that by now we had a clear line of sight to the end of the pandemic, hope is not a strategy and it’s my job to ensure that Uber is well prepared for any scenario,” CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a conference call with investors on Thursday.

Uber’s Eats delivery business – once just a fraction of the company – brought in USD1.21 billion in revenue during the quarter. That was up 103 per cent from USD595 million in last year’s second quarter. As some people stay closer to home, more people are ordering from Uber Eats than ever before, Khosrowshahi said.

“The COVID-19 crisis has moved delivery from a luxury to a utility,” he added. Gross bookings for Uber’s mobility business plummeted 73 per cent from the same quarter last year. Its delivery business grew 113 per cent on a constant currency basis, but did not turn a profit, instead losing about USD232 million during the quarter.

The Uber logo appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. PHOTO: AP