Published: Sun, February 18, 2018
Finance | By Cynthia Curry

Uber's net loss widens to $4.5 billion for tumultuous 2017

Uber's net loss widens to $4.5 billion for tumultuous 2017

Ride-hailing giant Uber's full-year net loss widened to $US4.5 billion ($5.7 million) in 2017 as the company endured a tumultuous year that included multiple scandals, a lawsuit alleging the theft of trade secrets and the replacement of its chief executive.

Ride-hailing app firm Uber saw its losses spiral by 61% to $4.5bn (£3.2bn) in 2017, up from $2.8bn in 2016 - despite an 85% increase in revenue to $37bn. Uber also said its US ride-hailing market share fell from 82 percent at the start of a year ago to 70 percent in the fourth quarter.

"It looked messy and it was messy", Khosrowshahi said on stage at a Goldman Sachs technology conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.

Uber is in the process of reducing its deficit but still managed to lose $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017, The Information reported earlier this week, citing data obtained from the company. Uber's loss is based on generally accepted accounting principles, which includes writedowns, as well as the company's enormous legal expenses, such as the cost of defending against a trade secrets lawsuit from Alphabet's Waymo.

Uber considers adjusted earnings before taxes as a better indicator of its financial performance.

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The company released its numbers with Information the tech news site after Khosrowshahi had spoked with investors and confirmed the numbers to other media agencies, The Uber CEO said that UberEats reached gross revenues of $4 billion for the fourth quarter, which represents 10% of the entire Uber business.

Khosrowshahi wants the company to go public next year, according to a November 9, 2017, CNN report. "I want you to be able to take an Uber and get into the subway... get out and have an Uber waiting for you". The fact that Uber's revenue has continued to grow despite an expanding list of setbacks and scandals past year may suggest that the company hasn't been significantly impacted overall.

Khosrowshahi's comments come just days after Uber settled a lawsuit in which Waymo, the self-driving vehicle company owned by Google parent Alphabet, had accused it of stealing trade secrets.

After only five months on the job, Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber's new CEO, gave a frank assessment of his tenure that has largely been spent cleaning up after his predecessor, Uber founder Travis Kalanick.

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