Uber is recovering from the pandemic and the driver shortage that followed, the company said Wednesday. The company’s second-quarter revenue grew 105 percent from the same period last year, to $ 3.9 billion, slightly more than analysts expected. Uber also posted a rare $ 1.1 billion profit, thanks to the initial public offering of Chinese ride-sharing company Didi, in which Uber owns an 11 percent stake.
Excluding that one-time profit, Uber said its adjusted losses were $ 509 million. It last reported profit roughly in the first quarter of 2018, when it sold parts of its businesses in foreign markets where it faced challenges. The company remains on track to reach its adjusted profitability target in the final three months of 2021, Nelson Chai, its chief financial officer, said in a statement.
Uber and other private transportation companies still face uncertainty as the Delta variant causes an increase in Covid-19 cases in the United States and elsewhere. Uber’s food delivery business, Uber Eats, provided a lifeline for the company during previous closures, when customers stopped traveling but began ordering more food.
Riders returned to Uber this spring faster than drivers, leading to long wait times and higher prices. To tempt drivers back to the platform, Uber increased incentives and bonuses. Uber also said it had temporarily lowered the amount it takes from hail ride fares to 18.7 percent, from its usual rate of about 20 to 25 percent.
The move worked, according to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. “We invested in the recovery by investing in drivers, and we made great progress, with monthly active drivers and couriers in the US increasing by nearly 420,000 from February to July,” Khosrowshahi said in a statement.
Uber said it attracted 101 million active consumers a month.
On Tuesday, Lyft, Uber’s biggest competitor in the United States, said it had revenue of $ 765 million in the second quarter, a 125 percent increase from the previous year. The company reduced its losses to $ 251.9 million from $ 437.1 million and attracted 17 million active passengers, an increase of almost 97 percent over the same period a year ago.
Lyft attributed the growth to its recovery from the peak of the pandemic and said it had reached its adjusted profitability target.