Uber says growth strong as it gives a peek at earnings

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Uber on Friday provided a glimpse at its earnings, saying it is growing strong while working to overhaul company culture at the scandal-dented on-demand ride service.

“We’re fortunate to have a healthy and growing business, giving us the room to make the changes we know are needed on management and accountability, our culture and organization, and our relationship with drivers,” Uber’s North America regional general manager Rachel Holt said in an email statement to AFP.

The San Francisco-based company confirmed that its bookings more than doubled last year to $20 billion, with net revenue totaling $6.5 billion and an adjusted net loss of $2.8 billion not counting China operations that it sold.

The privately-held firm is valued at about $68 billion, making it one of the largest “unicorns” in the tech world.

It’s not required to disclose earnings information the way publicly traded companies must.

Uber is in the process of hiring a second-in-command for chief Travis Kalanick, who remains in the driver’s seat as the company tries to plot a friendlier course with workers, riders and drivers.

Uber has been rocked by disclosures about a culture of sexism, cut-throat workplace tactics and covert use of law enforcement-evading software.

Kalanick, known for taking a hard line in battles with regulators and taxi operators, has been humbled by recent events which included the release of a dashcam video showing him berating and cursing at one of Uber’s drivers.

Kalanick also made a hasty exit from a business advisory panel for US President Donald Trump after a consumer boycott campaign fueled by concerns that he was aiding a leader with regressive values.

Uber’s workforce doubled last year and is on a similarly hot pace for growth this year, according to executives.

While Uber did not disclose earnings for the first quarter of this year, the company said they were in line with expectations.

Despite a #DeleteUber campaign that got traction on social media as the firm grappled with controversies, growth is accelerating, with new riders joining and existing users taking more trips, executives said on a recent conference call with journalists.

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