Uber, announced a rare quarterly profit on Wednesday that was made by taking the opposite approach: Signaling the white flag in challenging overseas markets.
In March, Uber sold its ride and food-delivery businesses in southeast Asia. Uber received a 27.5% stake in Grab in exchange for withdrawing from the market. And last year, it combined its ridesharing operations in Russia and other Eastern European countries for a minority stake in a joint venture owned by Yandex, a Russian internet giant. Both deals closed during the first three months of 2018, swinging the money-losing company into profitability. Take away those transactions, and Ubers business is still burning cash albeit at a slower pace than in previous quarters.
Uber said it made $2.45 billion in the first three months of 2018 on revenue of $11.33 billion. That is an improvement over the previous quarter when the company recorded a loss of $1.1billion on revenue of $10.9 billion. Shredding out one-time gains and charges, Uber reported a loss of $601 million, NewYork Times reported.
As a private company, Uber is not bound to report quarterly results. It provides a fairly detailed earnings statement, but its results are not audited and exclude some useful data like user growth and a breakdown of its ride-hailing business versus food delivery.
It also recorded a profit in the third quarter of 2016, when it completed another retreat from a tough overseas market, selling its China operations to rival Didi Chuxing. Uber received a 20% stake in the combined entity.