“The era of growth at all costs is over” – Uber

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It’s still very much quarterly results release season and the latest firm to declare its Q4 2019 earnings is Uber.

Some of the highlights from the results include a rather impressive growth in Gross Bookings. Uber reports it drew in $18.13 billion in Gross Bookings, a 28 percent change year-on-year.

Looking at Uber’s various solutions, Uber Eats is the real hero in terms of growth. Gross Bookings for Q4 2019 for Uber Eats grew 71 percent year-on-year to $4.37 billion.

Rides on the other hand appear only grew 18 percent drawing in $13.51 billion compared to $11.48 billion in 2018.

While this is all great, Uber also reported a loss of $1.1 billion. That figure is down slightly from the Q3 2019 and a far cry from the loss of $5.49 billion it reported in Q2 2019.

However, losses for the year came in at $8.50 billion and net revenue clocking in at $14.15 billion for the year. For Q4 2019, Uber’s revenue came in at $4.07 billion.

As you may suspect, losses are surely not good news for investors and Uber chief executive officer (CEO), Dara Khosrowshahi addressed this in the earnings results.

“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 the CEO.

“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,” added Khosrowshahi.

But Uber is not going to cruise along toward profit.

The fact of the matter is that Uber faces an incredible amount of scrutiny in both London and California. In London the firm’s operating license was not renewed while in California, new laws meant Uber had to change how much control drivers have over rides. This is because the laws make it harder for Uber to argue its drivers are independent contractors.

With all of this in mind, Khosrowshahi said during an earnings call that he has challenged his workforce to move the timeline for profitability up from 2021 to Q4 2020.

That’s a rather big ask and we’ll be playing close attention to Uber’s quarterly reports for 2020 to see if the firm is able to turn a profit.

[Source – Uber]

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.