Uber Technologies Inc said that more customers of its ride-hailing and its food delivery business boosted the company's fourth-quarter revenue, but high costs at Uber Eats remain.
The company's total revenue rose 37% to $4.07 billion on a yearly basis. However, net loss attributable to Uber widened to $1.1 billion, from a loss of $887 million a year earlier.
With its latest money-losing quarter, Uber has lost approximately $8.5 billion since its May 2019 initial public offering but offered proof that austerity measures are paying off. The company has been cutting costs -- whether through more than 1,000 job cuts in three recent rounds to selling its food-delivery service in India to Zomato for a 9.9% stake -- in an aggressive bid to reach make money. Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, has vowed to reach adjusted Ebitda profitability by the end of 2020 instead of 2021.
Uber’s revenue came from its ride-hailing service, available in more than 700 cities worldwide.
The company said its monthly active users rose to 111 million globally.
Gross bookings, a measure of total value of rides before driver costs and other expenses, rose 28% to $18.13 billion from a year earlier. Rides and Eats grew 20% and 73% year-over-year, respectively, on a constant currency basis.
Uber’s total costs rose 25.2% to $5.04 billion in the quarter, as the company invested on expanding its food delivery platform.
While revenue at Uber Eats grew nearly 14% on a quarterly basis, Uber also increased spending to attract drivers, with promotional incentives outpacing the segment’s revenue growth. Promotional costs as a share of revenue at Uber’s Eats business grew 4% from the third quarter.
“2019 was a transformational year for Uber and I’m gratified by our progress, steadily delivering against the commitments we’ve made to our shareholders on our path to profitability,” said Khosrowshahi. “We recognize that the era of growth at all costs is over. In a world where investors increasingly demand not just growth, but profitable growth, we are well-positioned to win through continuous innovation, excellent execution, and the unrivaled scale of our global platform.”
“Our revenue growth continued to accelerate in Q4, with adjusted net revenue up 43% year-over-year in constant currency,” said Nelson Chai, CFO. “We consistently outperformed our adjusted EBITDA targets in 2019, including in the fourth quarter. Our focus on disciplined capital allocation is part and parcel to achieving our financial goals, and the recent sale of our India Eats business further demonstrates that commitment.”