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Uber reduces losses on meals supply enlargement, modest uptick in experience bookings By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An Uber pickup location is pictured in San Diego, California

By Tina Bellon and Akanksha Rana

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Uber Technologies (NYSE 🙂 Inc posted a smaller loss on Wednesday as its hail and delivery business rebounded slightly from pandemic lows and the company said it was on track to meet its target to achieve an adjusted target profit by the end of the year.

Uber said customers in the outskirts and suburbs of cities returned to their driving platform during the quarter.

Near full recoveries in markets like Brazil and Australia suggest that leisure travel to restaurants and cultural events is picking up quickly after the end of the pandemic, and business travel is returning more slowly as many employees continue to work from home.

Shares were down 3% after close of trading after rising 6% during the day. Shares had risen after a minor hail fighter Elevator Inc (NASDAQ 🙂 said Tuesday that it could turn profitable in the third quarter three months ahead of an earlier target, thanks to a rebound and cost reductions.

Uber reported an adjusted loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $ 454 million, which, according to Refinitiv data, was well below analysts’ average expectations for a loss of $ 514 million.

Uber cut costs over the course of 2020, including downsizing by nearly 30% from the start of the year. By focusing on its core business of rides and grocery deliveries, as well as selling ancillary units, Uber can emerge from the pandemic as a leaner company.

Adjusted EBITDA, which excludes the cost of the company’s massive stock-based compensation and other potentially critical items, is the profitability metric used by Uber.

Uber had total sales of $ 3.17 billion for the months October through December.

Fourth quarter mobility revenue, which consisted primarily of trips, declined 52% year over year but rose 8% quarterly to $ 1.47 billion despite new lockdowns in the US, Europe and the Middle East.

The company couldn’t predict which quarter hailstorm volume could return to pre-pandemic levels. Airport trips, which accounted for 15% of gross bookings prior to the pandemic, will take longer than vacation and business trips, Uber said.

For the first quarter, adjusted EBITDA was expected to be unchanged or decreased compared to the fourth quarter.

Orders on Uber’s food delivery platform, Uber Eats, continued to surge in the fourth quarter as many countries and states issued new lockdown orders, restaurants closed, and many people urged to order.

Shipping revenue more than tripled year over year and was 19% higher than the third quarter at around $ 1.36 billion.

Uber has expanded its presence in the competitive arena, acquiring smaller rivals Postmates for $ 2.65 billion in grocery delivery and Drizly alcoholic beverage delivery service for $ 1.1 billion.

Both deals were largely stock-based, with the Drizly deal expected to close later this year.

Uber also said it continued to cut costs in the fourth quarter, with total costs and expenses down 14% over that period.

Uber has sold two cash-burning units following an instruction from Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi to focus on the company’s core business.

The company sold its self-propelled Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) in a $ 4 billion stock deal in December with a sharp drop in valuation. Khosrowshahi said at the time the deal would accelerate Uber’s profitability target.

In the same month, Uber also handed over the keys to its air taxi business Elevate without revealing the terms of the contract.

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