Uber posts first full-year profit as demand accelerates
The ride-hailing and delivery company finds new ways to improve customer retention
Bengaluru — Uber Technologies forecast quarterly core profit and gross bookings above estimates and reported market-beating results for the holiday quarter on Wednesday, fuelled by higher demand in its ride sharing and food delivery businesses.
Share of the company rose nearly 4% in premarket trading on Wednesday.
Uber, which posted its first full-year profit on net basis, is expanding initiatives such as memberships, corporate travel and advertising. Coupled with a pickup in travel, this is helping the company improve user retention.
After a drop during the Covid-19 years, travel demand picked up last year as people stepped out more and many companies called their employees to work from offices.
“Uber’s platform advantages and disciplined investment in new growth opportunities resulted in record engagement and accelerating gross bookings in Q4,” CFO Prashanth Mahendra-Rajah said.
The company expects adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of $1.26bn to $1.34bn in the quarter ending March, compared with expectations of $1.26bn, according to LSEG data.
Uber’s gross bookings forecast of $37bn to $38.5bn came in higher than expectations of $37.33bn. The outlook follows strong results in the seasonally strong October-December period.
Revenue increased 15% to $9.9bn and gross bookings rose 22% to $37.6bn in the fourth quarter, exceeding Wall Street targets. Its net profit nearly tripled to $1.43bn, thanks to a $1bn net pretax benefit from re-evaluation of the company’s equity investments.
Uber said revenue from its core ride-share business grew 34%, driven in part from “outsized trip growth” in Latin America and Asia Pacific markets.
Delivery business revenue grew 6%, while gross bookings growth for the segment was the highest in two years. “An increasing percentage of our delivery gross bookings growth is coming from trip and audience growth this year versus pricing last year,” CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said.
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