Uber reported strong growth in its ride-hailing and delivery businesses on Wednesday, saying it continued to recover from a pandemic slump, even as it lost $5.6 billion on its investments in other ride-sharing companies, primarily Chinese service Didi. .
The company reported revenue of $6.9 billion for the first three months of 2022, exceeding analyst expectations and skyrocketing 136 percent compared to revenue at the same time last year, when Covid vaccines were scarce and people were not. traveled so much. Uber also said it made 1.7 billion trips in the quarter and 115 million people use its platform each month, up 18 percent and 17 percent year-on-year, respectively.
During the pandemic, Uber’s financial results have been an indicator of broader economic health and wanderlust, with the company’s weaker quarters corresponding to spikes in coronavirus cases and increased lockdowns, and stronger results generally pointing to periods of greater recession. normality.
Now that “people have returned to offices, restaurants, pubs, stadiums and airports around the world, they have returned to Uber,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, the company’s CEO, in prepared comments to investors. He added that the company’s results “make it clear that we are on a strong path out of the pandemic.”
Still, Uber’s investments in other car-sharing companies around the world continue to hamper profits. Of the nearly $6 billion in losses, $5.6 billion came from changes in the valuation of other companies in which it has a stake. Didi’s value has plummeted since it went public last year.
Revenue from Uber’s ride-hailing business grew nearly 200 percent from the same time last year — despite a slowdown at the start of the quarter due to its Omicron variant — and Uber’s food delivery business grew 12 percent, although people are largely down. returned to restaurants and grocery stores.
While Uber’s company continues to lose money, it said it was getting closer to profitability. Excluding certain costs, such as stock compensation and the Didi losses, Uber had another profitable quarter and free cash flow approached a break-even point.
Drivers who power Uber’s business — as well as the businesses of other gig economy companies like Lyft, DoorDash and Instacart — have said that high gas prices in recent months, partly stemming from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have made it harder for Uber to earn a living driving. Some have said they will be working fewer hours or leaving the platform.
Uber, which had already spent a lot of money to lure back drivers who left early in the pandemic, responded in March by charging riders a small fuel fee for every ride that went to drivers, and said Wednesday it would increase more drivers. platform than at any time since the start of the pandemic.
That confidence — and its rosy outlook for the next quarter — differed sharply from its rival Lyft, which reported financial results Tuesday and saw its shares plunge 25 percent in after-hours trading after company executives said during an earnings call they were still struggling to convince drivers to return to the platform and spend more money to get them to do so.
Uber’s shares fell along with Lyft’s, and Uber said shortly afterwards it would release its financial results hours earlier than initially planned on Wednesday, ostensibly in an effort to differentiate its results from Lyft’s and predict a drop in its stock. occur when the market opened later that morning.
Although Lyft said the number of active drivers increased 40 percent in the first three months of the year compared to the same time last year, Logan Green, the company’s CEO, also said drivers had “unsubscribed” from Omicron and had to return to the numbers needed to meet the pick-up in demand.
Lyft reported better-than-expected revenue at $876 million, up 44 percent from the first quarter of 2021, and $197 million in net loss, down 54 percent from last year. The company had 17.8 million active riders, up from 13.5 million at the start of last year but down from the nearly 19 million reported at the end of 2021.