Uber cuts quarterly losses despite declining revenue

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Uber lost $ 968 million (798.7 million euros) in the fourth quarter of 2020, up from 1.1 billion (910 million euros) in the same period last year, despite revenue that fell by 16 % due to travel restrictions related to the pandemic. For the whole of 2020, Uber’s losses amounted to $ 6.8 billion (€ 5.6 billion), a 20% improvement over the $ 8.5 billion (€ 7 billion) euros) lost in 2019.

Its title lost more than 2% in electronic exchanges on Wall Street after the stock market close on Wednesday, its results being lower than expected by the market.

The world leader in chauffeured passenger cars (VTC) reservations has never made a profit. Before the pandemic, he thought to reach the Holy Grail of profitability in the last quarter of 2020. But in the spring he indicated that this objective would be delayed by several quarters, because of the health crisis.

Read also the article of May 8, 2020: Uber digs losses to nearly $ 3 billion

Optimistic about my future profitability

“Uber ended 2020 with major negative impacts for VTC rides because of the resurgence of coronavirus cases, but also solid and continued growth in their business in delivery,” reacted Eric Haggstrom of the analyst firm eMarketer . “2021 should be an exceptional year with the vaccination campaigns that will benefit their VTC segment”, especially for travel for professionals, but also personal.

Uber counts in particular on the immense user base of its transport application. “We have 90 million active consumers at least once on the platform. And we have proven that we are able to bring users to our delivery application, almost at no additional cost, ”said Dara Khosrowshahi, the head of the Californian group.

“We have shown that in big markets like Brazil or Australia, when they reopen, business picks up,” said Dara Khosrowshahi. “So I have no doubt that in 2022 or 2023, our mobility segment will experience substantial double-digit growth.”

Expected profitability for the delivery branch in 2021

During this crisis, Uber put the package on meal deliveries, very popular thanks to the lockdowns. Its delivery branch thus generated revenues of 1.4 billion dollars (1.16 billion euros) during the holiday season, a jump of 224% over one year. By contrast, its turnover for its mobility branch – VTC races – plunged 52% to 1.5 billion (1.24 billion euros).

About that: In Geneva, Uber Eats must now use employees

In delivery, Uber has expanded well beyond Uber Eats in recent months, notably with the acquisitions of Postmates (home meal delivery platform) last summer, Cornershop in Latin America and, last week. , by Drizly, a leader in on-demand alcohol deliveries in the United States.

According to the firm Edison, DoorDash represented 48% of the meal delivery market in the United States at the end of 2020, ahead of Uber Eats (35% with Postmates).

But “the deliveries of meals to restaurants will undergo a difficult comparison in 2021 with last year”, warned Eric Haggstrom. “We remain confident in the possibility that our delivery branch will become profitable in 2021,” nevertheless assured Uber boss Dara Khosrowshahi during a conference call with analysts.

Find our analysis of Uber’s situation in the morning