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Uber posted better-than-expected earnings for the first quarter of the year. In its earnings report for the quarter ended March 31, 2023, the company announced that it clocked a year-on-year rise of 29% in its revenue, which grew to $8.82 billion for the period.

This is better than the $8.72 billion which had been estimated by analysts. Uber also clocked a loss of 8 cents per share, as opposed to the 9-cent/share loss that had been expected by analysts. Its net loss for the first quarter amounted to $157 billion, compared to the net loss of $5.9 billion that Uber had noted in the corresponding quarter in the previous year.

Furthermore, Uber noted that it had $31.4 billion in gross bookings (which is the amount of money paid by customers), marking a growth of 19% from the corresponding quarter in 2022. We find that the gross bookings from Uber’s Mobility division grew by 40% annually to nearly $15 billion, while the same from the company’s Delivery segment rose by 8% YoY to $15 billion. The revenue from the same divisions for the quarter amounted to $4.33 billion and $3.09 billion respectively (marking annual growths of 72% and 23% respectively). Revenue and gross bookings from its freight division amounted to $1.4 billion and $1.4 billion respectively.

Furthermore, Uber reported an adjusted EBITDA of $761 million (beating the $687 million expected by analysts) and for the second quarter of the year, expects to report gross bookings between $33 billion to $34 billion, and an adjusted EBITDA of $800-850 million.

All of this comes as the expenditure on rides and takeout rose amidst an economic downturn and uncertainties in the global markets. Uber was hit hard during the pandemic when the demand for rides took a steep plunge amidst lockdowns across the globe. Ironically, these same lockdowns which were responsible for confining people to their homes ensured that Uber Eats took off quickly as millions of customers ordered takeout during those times. Its mobility segment, after taking a hit during the pandemic, later caught up in 2022.

Currently, Uber boasts 76% of US ride-share sales in March, which is an increase from the 66% it commanded in early 2020. “With our global scale and deeper local density, we are increasingly separating from smaller regional competitors both on driver preference and on the breadth of mobility products we offer consumers,” Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, said in a statement. “We significantly accelerated Q1 trip growth to 24% from 19% last quarter, with Mobility trip growth of 32%, as a result of improved earner and consumer engagement. Looking ahead, we are focused on extending our product, scale, and platform advantages to sustain market-leading top and bottom-line growth beyond 2023,” he added.

“We delivered record profitability and free cash flow in Q1, and we are poised to expand profitability again in Q2,” Nelson Chai, CFO of Uber, said. “We continued to actively manage our balance sheet, exiting our equity position in Yandex. Taxi and refinancing our term loans, and remain focused on disciplined capital allocation over the coming years.”