Uber insists accelerating sales outpace losses in first public discussion of finances

Francesca Washtell
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Uber recently announced it will be leaving Denmark because of harsh regulations (Source: Getty)

Ride-hailing app Uber has opened up about its financials for the first time, revealing it more than doubled gross bookings last year but still registered a loss.

In 2016 gross bookings at the scandal-hit transport group reached $20bn (£16bn), while its net revenue came in at $6.5bn.

Although its sales growth has outpaced losses, it still booked an adjusted net loss of $2.8bn - excluding its Chinese business, which was sold last summer.

Gross bookings accelerated 28 per cent to $6.9bn in the final quarter of last year, but though losses reached $991m in the same period.

Read more: Uber, Deliveroo and Amazon contracts branded "gibberish" by gig economy MPs

Uber did not provide specific first quarter figures to Bloomberg, which released the results in an interview, but a company spokeswoman said they "seem to be in line with expectations".

Separately, in an emailed statement Uber's regional manager for the US and Canada, Rachel Holt, said:

We’re fortunate to have a healthy and growing business, giving us the room to make the changes we know are needed on management and accountability, our culture and organisation, and our relationship with drivers.

Read more: Uber's first diversity report reveals just how male its workforce is

As a private company, Uber (or, in its full name, Uber Technologies Inc) is not required to publicly report any annual or quarterly figures. It is valued at $68bn.

The results release comes soon after a slew of controversies and executive-level departures at the firm.

In February, it was hit by serious allegations of sexism in the workplace after explosive revelations from a former engineer, followed soon after by a leaked video showing chief executive Travis Kalanick in a heated argument with a driver over the app's pay rates.

Uber's president Jeff Jones quit around a fortnight after the video was released (he had been at the firm for just six months) and earlier this week its communications director, Rachel Whetstone, left the firm after a two-year stint.

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