Uber narrows loss but long way from finding profit

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on August 17, 2018.
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SAN FRANCISCO: Uber Technologies Inc said on Wednesday it narrowed its quarterly losses from a year earlier, although the ride-hailing company is still a long way from proving it can be profitable as it gears up to go public in 2019.

Under the leadership of Dara Khosrowshahi, who became chief executive officer in September, Uber has juggled investing in new markets while retreating from others where it was losing millions of dollars. It is building up services like food delivery and freight hauling as it seeks new revenue, and possibly a path to profitability, outside its core business.

Uber’s net loss narrowed to US$891 million in its second quarter (2Q) ending June 30 from US$1.1 billion a year earlier. 

Its adjusted loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation was US$614 million, down from US$773 million a year earlier.

Net revenue rose more quickly than gross bookings in the 2Q from the prior period as the company dialled back on promotional subsidies of rides. 

But its growth faces risks from decisions like that by New York City this month to cap licences for ride-hailing services for one year. — Reuters