Uber reports loss of $1.8 billion in 2018, improvement from previous year


Ride-hailing giant Uber reported a loss of $1.8 billion in 2018, according to the company’s self-reported financial results for the full-year released on Friday.

The figure is an improvement compared to the previous year when it lost $2.2 billion.

Revenue for 2018 was $11.3 billion, up 43% year-over-year.

But figures also showed that sales growth slowed in the fourth quarter. Revenue in the fourth quarter grew by just 2 percent from the previous quarter to $3 billion and was up 25% from the same period a year ago.

The fourth quarter year-over-year growth rate, while high by many standards, is a significant drop from the company’s third quarter year-over-year growth of 38% and second quarter year-over-year growth of 63%.

Gross bookings, the amount collected before payouts to drivers, rose to $50 billion in 2018, up 45 percent from the previous year. Gross bookings for the fourth quarter increased to a record $14.2 billion, an 11 percent increase from the third quarter.

“Last year was our strongest yet, and Q4 set another record for engagement on our platform,” Uber Chief Financial Officer Nelson Chai said in a statement. “In 2018, our ridesharing business maintained category leadership in all regions we serve.”

In November, Uber filed confidentially for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The IPO could reportedly come as early the second quarter of this year.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who stepped in at a time of turmoil for the company, has been at the forefront of diversifying Uber into new areas beyond cars, such as food delivery and bike sharing and scooters. Food delivery is now considered to be a core part of its business along with ride hailing. The company’s Uber Eats business currently dominates the online food delivery market outside of China. 

“In 2018, our ridesharing business maintained category leadership in all regions we serve, Uber Freight gained exciting traction in the US, JUMP e-bikes and e-scooters are on the road in over a dozen cities, and we believe Uber Eats became the largest online food delivery business outside of China, based on gross bookings,” Uber chief financial officer Nelson Chai said in a statement.