Friday 21 May 2021 9:19 am

WeWork posts £1.45bn loss ahead of stock market debut

WeWork today posted a £1.45bn first quarter loss as the office-sharing startup prepares for its stock market debut.

The company, which is backed by Japanese tech giant SoftBank, said its quarterly revenue almost halved from a year ago to $598m.

WeWork had originally attempted to go public in 2019, but the move collapsed over concerns about co-founder Adam Neumann’s leadership style.

Neumann has since left, and the firm has gone through a shakeup that has seen employees cut by two thirds since 2019 and businesses sold off.

WeWork has closed around 100 locations and pulled out of non-core ventures, including a wave pool maker and dog walking app.

The business felt the impact of Covid heavily as social distancing rules drove a work from home trend as workers avoided shared office space.

However, WeWork said people are now returning to offices as restrictions are eased, with its occupancy rate up to 50 per cent compared to 47 per cent in the previous quarter.

The company also said it expects the change in working habits to boost demand for the short-term leases it offers.