Published: Sun, February 18, 2018
Markets | By Josh Butler

Uber revenue rises, but it posts $4.5 billion loss

Uber revenue rises, but it posts $4.5 billion loss

Losses at the ride-sharing company Uber widened by 61 per cent to $4.5 billion past year but narrowed in the final quarter in a boost for its new chief executive.

While sales were at $7.5bn for the year (a 61pc increase), losses were at $4.5bn compared to $2.8bn in 2016, despite signs of recovery in the final three months of last year.

The company also said that its United States ride-hailing market share dropped from 82 percent at the start of previous year to 70 percent in the fourth quarter. Khosrowshahi said on the investor call that UberEats had reached a $4 billion gross revenue run-rate in the fourth quarter, which means food delivery will represent about 10 percent of Uber's business.

Khosrowshahi comment echo those of Uber's head of transportation policy and research Andrew Salzberg, who said that the company was simply looking to help its customers get from A to B as quickly as possible. The figure leaves out legal costs and stock-based compensation, as well as taxes, interest and other expenses. The fourth-quarter adjusted loss was $475 million, down from $606 million to in the third quarter.

Khosrowshahi has to completely change the culture of Uber, and he wants to make the company profitable before it goes public.

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CEO Travis Kalanick was ousted in June and replaced by Khosrowshahi in August.

Uber and its ride-hailing service had already been tarnished by the company's acknowledgment of rampant sexual harassment within its ranks, a year-long cover-up of a major computer break-in, and the use of duplicitous software to thwart government regulators.

New chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi says he hopes Uber will move into profit this year, with a stockmarket flotation (IPO) planned for 2019. Less than a week into the trial, Uber agreed to give Alphabet shares worth $245 million along with words of "regret" that stopped short of admitting guilt.

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