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Uber CFO says new lockdowns in India impacted business in Q2

07:13 PM Aug 05, 2021 | IANS

As India went into lockdowns amid the lethal second Covid-19 wave in the April-June period, ride-hailing major Uber saw a dip in its business, as mobility gross bookings went down significantly.

Overall, Uber's gross bookings reached $21.9 billion in the second quarter, up 114 per cent compared to the year-ago period, the company said in a statement late on Wednesday.

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The company recorded Mobility Gross Bookings of $8.6 billion and Delivery Gross Bookings of $12.9 billion. Net income was $1.1 billion, including $272 million in stock-based compensation expenses, the company announced.

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"APAC was a mixed bag with New Zealand, Hong Kong and Japan growing versus July 2019, but India, Australia and Taiwan impacted by ongoing or new lockdowns," said Nelson Chai, Chief Financial Officer at Uber, during the earnings call.

Several Indian states enforced lockdowns in the April-June period as a deadly Covid wave hit the country. Some states later relaxed the guidelines while others extended the lockdowns.

According to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, the good news is that drivers increasingly want to get back on the road.

"In June, 60 per cent of inactive drivers told us they intend to start driving again within a month; that's up from 40 per cent in April. And 90 per cent of drivers told us they expect to come back by September," he said.

Khosrowshahi said that the company expects its growing 'New Verticals' business to increasingly benefit from, and contribute to its platform.

"Already, over 3 million consumers are ordering groceries, convenience items, alcohol and more on Uber's apps each month, and this is before we've even fully addressed the US opportunity," he informed.

Uber remains the largest global on-demand delivery platform outside of China, with more than 7,50,000 monthly active merchants on its platform.

"Our original goal was to exit this year with $100 million of ads run-rate revenue, but we now expect to surpass that goal and end 2022 with at least $300 million in run-rate revenues in high margin ads," the Uber CEO said.

"Our platform is getting stronger each quarter, with consumers who engage with both Mobility and Delivery now generating nearly half of our total company Gross Bookings," he added.

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