Nelson Chai, an Uber Chief Financial Officer, says that the company wants to keep improving adjusted Ebitda but ‘the real focus point’ is actually the long-term growth. He is targeting $90 billion in annual gross bookings which represents the total value of rides and goods sold via Uber by the end of the year.
Uber Technologies Inc.’s finance chief said the company is focused on boosting its revenue and income after achieving an important profitability milestone during its latest quarter.
In early November, San Francisco-based Uber said that it recorded adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $8 million for the quarter ended September 30. This was the first time in its decade-long history that Uber announced a positive figure for this metric, helped by a recovery in its rides business and the continued strength of its food-delivery unit, Uber Eats.
However, the company’s quarterly net loss widened to $2.42 billion from $1.09 billion during the prior-year period. It was largely dragged down by a loss from its equity investments in companies such as Didi Global Inc, for example, which is a Chinese ride-hailing company.
Uber has reported a net profit under generally accepted accounting principles twice – the first time was in 2018 and second time during the second quarter of this year, thanks to unrealized gains on investment holdings. Mr. Chai commented:
“We have an intention to get to GAAP profitability.”
He has been Uber’s CFO since 2018. Before that, he used to bea chief executive at CIT Bank and Warranty Group and worked as finance chief at Merrill Lynch during the financial crisis and for NYSE Euronext.
The company’s plans are to update investors on its profitability targets and spending plans in February. Mr. Chai refused to comment on when Uber could report a net profit based on the strength of its operations rather than investment gains.
During the pandemic, Uber’s ride-sharing business suffered heavily as bookings were temporarily failing which prompted the company to cut costs by about $1 billion, in part by laying off workers. Not only that but the company also sold various assets, including its autonomous driving unit and its bikes and scooters business, while holding on to its freight business.
Mr, Chai said that last year, the company withdrew from countries where it didn’t see itself achieving a market-leading position. A spokesman said that this move required about 20 actions, including exits and deals to sell operations to rivals.