Uber Technologies Inc.’s global rides business is down 70% from last year, a slight improvement from its low point in the coronavirus pandemic but an indication that recovery will come slowly.
The decline in rides continues to be at least partially offset by a food delivery boom. The Uber Eats business is more than doubling, and the gains are accelerating, Dara Khosrowshahi, the chief executive officer, said Wednesday at a virtual technology conference hosted by Bank of America. Uber intends to drive consolidation in the food delivery market and continues to look for opportunities, he said. He declined to comment on Uber’s proposal to buy Grubhub Inc., which was first reported by Bloomberg last month.
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Like the rest of the travel industry, Uber has been hard hit by the pandemic and restrictions limiting normal activities. Uber reported a first-ever decline in the gross bookings of rides last quarter and said business was down 80% in April. As a result, the San Francisco-based company has postponed profit targets, eliminated several divisions and sliced about a quarter of its global workforce.
Khosrowshahi’s comments Wednesday erased some of the stock’s gains in intraday trading, but shares were up about 3% alongside a market-wide increase.