The number of consumers and drivers using its platform is “at record highs,” the company said in its quarterly earnings report. Uber recorded 122 million people using its platform every month, up 21% from a year earlier.
Perhaps more surprising for a company with a history of substantial losses is that Uber said its cash flow was positive, meaning it took more money out of its operations than it did. it has not spent, excluding capital expenditures, which generally include property and other physical assets. The company said it generated $382 million in free cash flow during the quarter.
Uber’s business offers a unique window into consumer trends more than two years into the pandemic that initially decimated travel demand (damaging Uber’s Rides business) and accelerated delivery adoption online food store (helping its Eats business). In the previous quarter ending in March, the company said its ride bookings exceeded pre-pandemic levels and delivery bookings were up 12% year-over-year.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement accompanying the results on Tuesday that the company “achieved balanced growth” and did so “on a bigger platform than ever, with the number of consumers and of employees using Uber at record levels”.
“Nobody wants a tough economic environment or high inflation that affects so many of us, including Uber drivers,” Khosrowshahi added during a conference with analysts on Tuesday. But he said the economic environment has allowed Uber to show its strengths.
Uber shares jumped more than 15% in early trading Tuesday after the results.
Uber’s results come as much of the tech industry turns to hiring freezes and layoffs in a bid to weather a financial downturn marked by soaring inflation, rising interest rates interest, fears of an impending recession and the fallout from the war in Ukraine.
“When we look at the competitive environment, this is the strongest we’ve felt globally since Nelson and I probably started here,” Khosrowshahi said, referring to himself and the company’s chief financial officer. ‘company., Nelson Chai. Khosrowshahi has been the head of Uber since 2017.
In a stark departure from the growth-at-all-costs model that Uber popularized years ago, Khosrowshahi also noted, “You can’t spend your way to fame in just any business.”
Khosrowshahi said Uber has been able to “enforce discipline” by making platform improvements to better serve drivers. This includes better integration to make it easier to sign up workers and an easier way to switch between driving and delivering. “Right now the machine is working,” he said.