Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Has a chaotic and expensive year had a major effect on Uber?

The latest financial report shows the company continues to increase its revenue while making progress on cutting its loss. Charles Platiau Reuters The latest financial report shows the company continues to increase its revenue while making progress on cutting its loss. Charles Platiau Reuters
| 18 February, 2018, 07:11

According to The Information, gross bookings for Q4 rose 14pc from Q3, a positive for the first full quarter under former Expedia chief Khosrowshahi's leadership.

The Uber CEO portrayed the company he inherited as a very strong business - "a better business than I thought" when he took the job - but one with a damaged brand that he plans to try fix. That's an improvement over the $1.46 billion loss recorded in the previous quarter (with revenue of $9.7 billion), but Uber still hasn't attained profitability.

Khosrowshahi's comments come just days after Uber settled a lawsuit in which Waymo, the self-driving vehicle company owned by Google parent Alphabet, had accused it of stealing trade secrets.

For the entire year of 2017, Uber sustained a loss of $4.46 billion on sales of $7.36 billion. The San Francisco-based company has raised approximately $19 billion in funding and has a blended valuation of $54 billion, making it the biggest venture-backed technology enterprise without a stock listing.


A company spokesman said: "We're incredibly encouraged by our financial performance and excited by our long-term potential to serve riders, drivers and cities". The figure leaves out legal costs and stock-based compensation, as well as taxes, interest and other expenses. 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. Uber concluded the year with about $6 billion in cash, 13 percent less than the year before.

Uber had faced accusations from Waymo, a self-driving auto company owned by Google's parent company Alphabet, of stealing purported trade secrets relating to autonomous vehicle technology. Mr Khosrowshahi detailed them on a conference call with investors Tuesday, and the company made some results public.

Comparisons with 2016 were also affected by the sale that year of its business in China resulting in a substantial gain.

The figures cover a troubled year for the company as it faced sexual harassment claims and saw the departure of senior executives including its boss, co-founder Travis Kalanick, and a battle to continue operating in London.

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