Ride hailing firm Uber lost $1.8 billion in the second quarter as millions stopped using its legion of cabs during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Despite a boom in its food delivery arm, Uber Eats, the company as a whole saw a 29% plunge in adjusted net revenues to $2.18 billion.

However, investors were left largely impressed at the relative resilience of a business that was always going to suffer a coronavirus hangover.

Uber shares rallied 4.5% overnight to $34.71.

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Gross bookings in its ride hailing division, or the amount of money it takes in before paying drivers, fell 73% on Q2 2019, but this was an improvement on an even worse first three months in which Uber’s ride-hailing business declined 80%.

Even so, the $3.05 billion reported missed analyst forecasts of $3.96 billion.

It was a completely different story for Uber Eats, which saw gross bookings jump 113% as home delivery demand soared. Gross bookings here hit $6.96 billion, comfortably outstripping the $6.23 billion expected.

‘The Covid crisis has moved delivery from a luxury to a utility,’ said CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.

Still, Uber’s problems pre-date the coronavirus crisis and the $60 billion company has come under increasing pressure from investors to turn its promise into profits.

That will be neither easy nor imminent. Analysts predict Uber will run up more than $6 billion of net losses this year, and more than $2.2 billion of red ink in 2022, despite revenues predicted to double by then to $23 billion.

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Issue Date: 07 Aug 2020