Uber narrows losses, growth slows on the road to IPO

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Uber on Friday released earnings figures that showed its loss narrowed in the final quarter of last year while revenue growth slowed as the ridesharing giant prepares for a stock market debut.

The loss for the final three months of the year amounted to USD865 million, compared with USD1.1 billion in the same period a year earlier.

The San Francisco-based firm reported revenue of USD3 billion, a 25 per cent increase from a year earlier.

Uber remains a private company, but routinely discloses some earnings information.

Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi, who is steering the high-value start-up to a stock market debut this year, has promised greater transparency as he seeks to restore confidence in the global ridesharing leader hit by a wave of misconduct scandals.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi speaks during the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018 in San Francisco, California. – AFP

Revenue for the full year rose 43 per cent to USD11.3 billion, with Uber’s annual loss shrinking 15 per cent to USD1.8 billion, according to the start-up.

Uber operates its rideshare business in dozens of countries and has expanded to new areas including food delivery, electric scooters and bikes. The company is seen as the largest of the venture-backed startups with a presumed valuation of some USD70 billion.

“Last year was our strongest yet, and Q4 set another record for engagement on our platform,” Uber chief financial officer Nelson Chai said in a released statement.

“Our ridesharing business maintained category leadership in all regions we serve, Uber Freight gained exciting traction in the US, JUMP e-bikes and e-scooters are on the road in over a dozen cities.”

Based on gross bookings, Uber Eats has apparently become the largest online food delivery business outside of China, according to Chai.