Uber reported its results for the first quarter on Monday, beating revenue expectations but also revealing another massive loss. The report also gave us a first glimpse at how the ride-hailing business is going in a time of massively restricted mobility due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I won’t sugarcoat it. Covid-19 has had a dramatic impact on rides,” Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s chief executive, said on Thursday’s earnings call with investors, referring to a five-percent decline in gross bookings in the Rides segment for the quarter that widened to as much as 80 percent in April.
Luckily for Uber, the company’s food delivery business Uber Eats has been surging in recent weeks as people were confined to their homes and restaurants remained shuttered. “We've seen an enormous acceleration in demand since mid-March with 89% year-over-year gross bookings growth in April excluding India,” Khosrowshahi said, adding that the difficult circumstances have also increased “willingness of fine dining establishments to sign up for delivery”, a trend that might benefit Uber’s delivery segment in the long run.
With gross booking of $15.8 billion for the quarter ended March 31, Uber’s revenue amounted to $3.5 billion. Meanwhile net losses piled up to $2.9 billion, including an impairment write-down of $1.9 billion, related to Uber’s investments in Didi and Grab.