Uber advances profitability target to end of 2020


San Francisco,  Ride-hailing major Uber which posted a net loss of $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019 said it can become profitable by the end of 2020, much earlier than expected.

“Our progress in 2019 and our 2020 plans gives me the confidence to challenge our teams to accelerate our EBITDA profitability target from full year 2021 to Q4 2020,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in an earnings call with investors on Thursday.

“It’s important to emphasize that we plan to achieve this profitably target assuming only modest improvements in the current competitive environment and without the assumption of any significant changes to our current portfolio businesses,” Khosrowshahi added.

Uber has attracted more customers towards its ride-hailing service as well as Uber Eats, resulting in a 37 per cent increase in revenue (year-over-year) that hit $4.1 billion in the fourth-quarter of 2019.

Gross Bookings grew $4 billion (year-over-year) to $18.1 billion, representing 28 per cent growth — with Rides and Eats growing 20 per cent and 73 per cent year-over-year, respectively, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

Uber said that a more disciplined capital environment will be favourable for the business going forward.

“We’re making proactive changes to achieve significant cost leverage for both Rides and Eats through a focused operating playbook including improve machine learning algos and further automation and targeting of our incentive and online marketing spend, stronger tracking and focus for our offline marketing campaigns,” the Uber CEO said.

Khosrowshahi said the divestiture of the Eats business in India and its exit from South Korea demonstrated the company’s strategic discipline.

Uber last month divested its Eats business as Zomato acquired its food delivery business in India for nearly Rs 2,500 crore.