Driving success: Uber eyes profitability as airport and office journeys fuel post-pandemic rideshare demand
Uber said it had set its sights on delivering profits this year after 2022’s surge in demand for airport and office rides helped the company rebound from pandemic lows.
Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive of Uber, said the company was now focused on achieving profitability on a GAAP basis this year.
Khosrowshahi said: “The pandemic’s impact on our mobility business is now well and truly behind us.”
Uber forecast adjusted EBITDA, a profitability metric that excludes some costs, is between $660m (£546m) and $700m for the first quarter, above the average analyst estimate of $593.06m, according to Refinitiv data.
The rideshare market is benefiting from a return to normal and a rise in car ownership costs, which is pushing many to opt for cab rides. At the same time, more drivers are signing up as they look for new sources of income.
Uber, which operates in over 70 countries and 10,000 cities, said new rideshare products such as pre-booking, shared rides, car rentals and car-sharing was also boosting revenue.
Khosrowshahi said active drivers on the platform reached an all-time high in the fourth quarter and continued to grow in January, putting behind worries of a shortage of drivers signing up as demand jumped.
“We have clearly separated from our competitors on driver preference. This has driven meaningful category position gains globally, particularly in the U.S, where our position is at a nearly six-year high,” Khosrowshahi said.
Analysts have raised concerns about smaller rival Lyft losing market share to Uber. Lyft is scheduled to report results on Thursday.
Uber’s revenue rose 49 per cent to $8.61bn in the fourth quarter, beating the estimate of $8.49bn. Rideshare revenue surged 82 per cent.
Net income was $595m, or 29 cents per share, compared with $892m, or 44 cents per share, a year earlier.