Uber reports $1B loss as revenue rises | News | DW | 31.05.2019
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Uber reports $1B loss as revenue rises

Car-sharing giant Uber has met its first quarter forecast, with a loss of $1 billion but increasing revenue and users. The losses were the result of big spending in the lead-up to its IPO earlier in May.

Ride-share company Uber on Thursday reported a $1 billion (€898 million) loss in the first quarter of this year, despite rising revenue and monthly users. 

In its first earnings report as a publicly traded company, Uber said revenue climbed 20% to $3.1 billion from the same quarter last year, matching its forecast.

The loss of $1.0 billion also fell within the company's forecast range of $1.0 billion to $1.11 billion. 

"In the first quarter, engagement across our platform was higher than ever, with an average of 17 million trips per day and an annualized gross bookings run-rate of $59 billion," said Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi.

Gross bookings, a measure of the total value of rides before driver costs and other expenses, rose 34% from a year ago to $14.6 billion.

Read more: Germany finally cares about car sharing, but is it here to stay?

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Ride-hailing App Uber goes public on the NY Stock

Spending up ahead of IPO

The company said that the losses were a result of the ride-hailing service spending heavily to build up its food delivery and freight businesses. Costs went up 35% in the quarter, as the company spent heavily in the run-up to its IPO earlier this month.

However, Uber had struggled to convert its large and growing market share into profit even prior to floating on the stock market. Improvement on this has been a mixed bag: Over the past 15 months or so, its loss margins have narrowed, while its revenue growth has slowed. 

Uber started its initial public offering several weeks ago at $45, which translates to a market value of $82 billion. As usual, the company's shares subsequently fell, settling at $39.80 when the bell rang in New York on Thursday.

The decline came amid doubts over Uber's path to profitability despite one of the biggest tech IPOs ever.

Read more: Deep Tech startups: Next wave of global disruptors?

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Uber drivers stage a worldwide walkout to protest wages and working conditions

law/msh (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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