Uber Technologies announced that strong demand for its ride-sharing and delivery services drove its revenue higher in the first quarter, offsetting weaker results from its smaller freight division. The San Francisco-based company reported a 29% year-over-year increase in revenue for the three months through March, reaching $8.82 billion, with a rise in the number of consumers, trips, and transaction values on its platform.
Although the company posted a loss during the quarter, its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization reached $761 million, beating Wall Street's expectations.
Uber's shares rose over 9% in early afternoon trading, and the company projected continuing growth, with an expected adjusted earnings range of $800 million to $850 million for the current June quarter.
The company's CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, said that Uber is "well positioned to improve our competitive position," despite a tighter capital environment and higher interest rates.
Uber's delivery business, which became its lifeline during the pandemic, continued to expand, with the company improving its margins by introducing ads, raising order totals, and lowering delivery costs by combining food and higher-value items such as alcohol.
Uber's ride-share business overcame a year-long driver shortage by investing in bonuses and new features, gaining market share and drivers at the expense of rival Lyft.
Mr. Khosrowshahi added that Uber had added more than one million active drivers during the quarter worldwide, resulting in a 35% year-over-year increase in active drivers.
The number of rides and delivery trips on Uber grew at a faster pace than the booking value of those transactions during the quarter, indicating growth was led by trip volume rather than higher prices.
The company plans to leverage artificial intelligence to build better chatbots for support and make it easier to book an Uber to or from the airport. In March, Uber and Lyft won a court order in California preserving their gig-worker model, boosting their efforts to do so elsewhere in the U.S.
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