Sun, Apr 16, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Uber says business is ‘healthy and growing’

SNEAK PEEK:The privately held company gave a glimpse of its earnings, saying it is growing in line with expectations despite the multiple scandals plaguing the firm

AFP, SAN FRANCISCO

Uber Technologies Inc on Friday provided a glimpse at its earnings, saying it is growing strong while working to overhaul company culture at the scandal-dented ride-hailing service.

“We’re fortunate to have a healthy and growing business, giving us the room to make the changes we know are needed on management and accountability, our culture and organization, and our relationship with drivers,” Uber’s North America regional general manager Rachel Holt said in an e-mail statement.

The San Francisco-based company confirmed that its bookings more than doubled last year to US$20 billion, with net revenue totaling US$6.5 billion and an adjusted net loss of US$2.8 billion not counting China operations that it sold.

The privately held firm is valued at about US$68 billion, making it one of the largest “unicorns” in the tech world: It is not required to disclose earnings information the way publicly traded companies must.

Uber is in the process of hiring a second-in-command for chief executive officer Travis Kalanick, who remains in the driver’s seat as the company tries to plot a friendlier course with workers, riders and drivers.

Uber has been rocked by disclosures about a culture of sexism, cutthroat workplace tactics and covert use of law enforcement-evading software.

The company’s workforce doubled last year and is on a similarly hot pace for growth this year, executives said.

While Uber did not disclose earnings for the first quarter of this year, the company said they were in line with expectations.

Despite a #DeleteUber campaign that gained traction on social media as the firm grappled with controversies, growth is accelerating, with new riders joining and existing users taking more trips, executives said on a recent conference call with journalists.

Meanwhile, an Italian court on Friday lifted a temporary ban on the use of smartphone apps for Uber pending a definitive ruling in the case, which pitches the ride-hailing service against taxi drivers.

The use of various phone applications for Uber on Italian territory was provisionally banned last week by the court, which said they contribute to traditional taxis facing unfair competition and must be taken down from tomorrow.

Uber appealed, and on Friday the court agreed to lift the ban until a final ruling in the case.

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