Uber posts $1 billion loss in Q3 as bookings growth slows
Uber Technologies said on Wednesday that growth in bookings for its ride-hailing and delivery services rose 6 per cent in the latest quarter, the third quarter in a row that growth has remained in the single digits after double-digit growth for all of last year.
The firm lost $1.07 billion for the three months ending September 30, a 20 per cent increase from the previous quarter but down 27 per cent from a year ago, when the company posted its biggest publicly reported quarterly loss on the heels of the departure of Uber co-founder and former chief executive Travis Kalanick.
Uber is seeking to expand in freight hauling, food delivery and electric bikes and scooters as growth in its now decade-old ride-hailing business dwindles. The company, valued at $76 billion, faces pressure to show it can still grow enough to become profitable and satisfy investors in an initial public offering planned for some time next year.
Its adjusted loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation was $592 million, down from $614 million last quarter and $1.02 billion a year ago.
"We had another strong quarter for a business of our size and global scope," said Nelson Chai, Uber's chief financial officer, who joined in September after the job had been vacant for three years. He emphasised the "high-potential markets in India and the Middle East where we continue to solidify our leadership position."
But broader economic conditions and sustained losses could push Uber to merge with rivals in India and the Middle East, particularly as Uber and India-based Ola share an investor in SoftBank Group Corp.
Uber's gross bookings were $12.7 billion, up 6 per cent from the previous quarter and up 41 per cent from a year ago. In late 2016, Uber's quarterly bookings growth approached 30 per cent, and in early 2017 it still sustained double-digit growth quarter over quarter. At the start of this year, however, bookings growth slid into the single digits.
Revenue for the quarter was $2.95 billion, a 5 per cent boost from the previous quarter and up 38 per cent from a year ago. That trailed the second-quarter year-over-year revenue increase of 63 per cent.
As a private company, Uber is not required to publicly disclose financials, but last year started releasing selected figures. - Reuters