Uber continues to lose money as it broadens its food delivery business and continues to work on driverless cars.
But revenue for its rides business almost tripled in the last three months of last year as the company picked up more passengers across the world. That prompted it to say it will make a profit earlier than it expected.
The ride-hailing giant lost $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019, which is more than 24% the same time last year. The loss was at about 64 cents per share, which was somewhat better than what experts were expecting. Experts polled by FactSet predicted Uber would lose $1.18 billion, or 67 cents each share, during the quarter.
Uber brought in $4.1 billion in revenue, increasing 37% from a year ago. Its revenue grew across the world, although the biggest gain was in the U.S. and Canada, where it earned 41% more than last year.
Due to the company’s progress in the last year and its plans this year, Uber expects to turn a profit in the fourth quarter of 2020, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi stated in a conference call with investors. That’s sooner than the projection during the last earnings call when he informed the company would turn a full-year profit in 2021.
Khosrowshahi referred 2019 as “a transformational year for Uber”.
“We recognize that the era of growth at all costs is over,” he added.
Uber’s Eats business made a loss of $461 million in the quarter before accounting for interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, decreasing 66% from the same time last year as Uber made huge investments into increasing the business in food delivery market.
In January, Uber sold its Eats business in India to Zomato, a move that its executives hope will make recovery from some of the losses.
In the U.S., Uber has been focused on enhancing restaurant selection and has nearly 400,000 restaurants on the Eats platform, increasing 78% on a year-on-year basis, Khosrowshahi stated.
The losses in the fourth quarter consisted of $243 million in stock-based compensation.