Published: Fri, February 16, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Uber CEO warns of Amazon-style losses

Uber CEO warns of Amazon-style losses

Uber has gone through a lot of changes over the past year, including a new CEO.

Ride-share titan Uber on Tuesday revealed that its losses a year ago swelled despite signs in the final three months that it was stemming the red ink.

An Uber spokesman said: "We're incredibly encouraged by our financial performance and excited by our long-term potential to serve riders, drivers and cities". Bookings from fares rose 14 per cent to just over $US11 billion for the quarter. The numbers show that Uber under Khosrowshahi is on a path toward profitability and a sustainable economic model, Kulkarni said.

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Uber's loss was mainly based on accepted accounting standards, which includes write-downs and significant legal expenses.

Uber, a private company, doesn't have to publicly disclose earnings. The San Francisco-based company has raised approximately $19 billion in funding and has a blended valuation of $54 billion, making it the biggest venture-backed technology enterprise without a stock listing. The fourth-quarter adjusted loss was $475 million, down from $606 million to in the third quarter.

Mr Khosrowshahi, who was previously chief executive of Expedia, has increased financial discipline, hired a chief operating officer to cut costs and sold Uber's lossmaking car-leasing business.

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Transport for London (TfL) stripped the ride-hailing firm of its licence last September, raising concerns over Uber's approach to reporting serious criminal offences, how drivers' medical certificates are obtained, how criminal record checks are carried out, and its use of technology which allegedly helps it to evade law enforcement officials.

The company last week agreed to give Alphabet Inc.'s self-driving vehicle unit Waymo $245 million worth of its own shares to settle a lawsuit over trade secrets, thus ending one of its most image-bruising public disputes. During the past one year, there were lots of controversies associated with this ride-hailing company creating a negative impression and rising difficulty for them.

For the last three months of the year, Uber was in the red by $1.1bn, down from $1.46bn a year earlier in a boost for new chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi.

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