Ride-hailing and delivery group Uber has made a $5.9 billion (£4.7 billion) loss, mostly due to its stakes in other companies.
The firm said almost all of the loss was a result of the fall in the value of investments in businesses including two Asian ride-hailing giants – China’s Didi and South East Asia’s Grab. Shares in Didi and Grab have plunged since listing in New York last year.
Despite the loss, Uber’s boss highlighted its progress in recovering from the impact of the pandemic. “Our results demonstrate just how much progress we’ve made navigating out of the pandemic and how the power of our platform is differentiating our business performance,” chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said.
That came as the company said the number of trips taken had risen 18 percent for the three months to the end of March, compared to the same period last year. That helped its revenue rise by 136 percent.
On a net basis, Uber’s first-quarter loss soared to $5.9 billion from $108m a year ago, driven by $5.6 billion of drops in the value of stakes in other businesses, primarily Chinese ride-hailing company Didi.
However, Uber has enough cash to hold on to those loss-making stakes and wait for a better time to sell them, chief financial officer Nelson Chai said. Its shares ended Wednesday’s trading session in New York 4.65 percent lower.
In 2016, as it faced tough competition in China, Uber sold its business in the world’s second-largest economy to Didi in exchange for an 18 percent stake in the Beijing-headquartered firm. Didi’s US market valuation has fallen by more than 80 percent since its $4.4 billion debuts on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) last summer.
Within days of the listing China’s internet regulator ordered online stores not to offer Didi’s app, saying it illegally collected users’ personal data.