By Heather Somerville
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL]
reported on Wednesday that its losses narrowed in the second
quarter by 9 percent and ride bookings rose, but the company is
still a long way from being profitable.
Uber said its net loss was $645 million, down from $708 million
in the first quarter and $991 million in the fourth quarter of
last year. The steady shrinking of losses signals Uber’s efforts
to rein in massive spending to subsidize rates for both drivers
and customers and other competitive tactics as it battles rivals
in tough markets like South Asia.
Last year, San Francisco-based Uber lost about $3 billion.
As a private company, Uber is not required to publicly disclose
its finances, but it started the practice earlier this year as it
eyes an initial public offering in the near future.
The rate of growth suggests Uber’s business has persevered
despite a recent string of scandals, but it is still losing a
historic sum of money and its executives have declined to offer a
timetable for profitability.
Some investors have eyed Uber’s $68 billion valuation with
skepticism, and recently four mutual fund investors marked down
the value of their Uber shares by as much as 15 percent.
The company said its gross ride bookings for the second quarter
reached $8.7 billion, up from $7.5 billion in the first quarter.
The number of global trips on the app increased 150 percent over
the previous year, with growth strongest in developing markets.
Those numbers include trips in Russia, where Uber recently merged
its operations with local rival Yandex.
Adjusted net revenue ticked up to $1.75 billion from $1.5 billion
in the first quarter, Uber said.
Since 2010, Uber has raised more than $15 billion from investors,
which has allowed it to operate at a loss. The company said it
has $6.6 billion in the bank, down from around $7.2 billion in
the first quarter.
News site Axios first reported Uber’s second-quarter results.
(This story has been refiled to fix typo in second paragraph.)
(Editing by Alistair Bell and Leslie Adler)