Uber CEO warns of Amazon-style losses


Ride-hailing giant Uber's full-year net loss widened to $US4.5 billion ($5.7 million) in 2017 as the company endured a tumultuous year that included multiple scandals, a lawsuit alleging the theft of trade secrets and the replacement of its chief executive.

Comparisons with 2016 were also affected by the sale that year of its business in China resulting in a substantial gain.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says he believes the ride-hailing service can still become a beloved brand despite a wave of damaging revelations about its treatment of employees, drivers, regulators and rivals.

In its recently released report for the fourth quarter, Uber revealed that it has actually managed to reduce its quarterly losses and move a step closer to profitability. Khosrowshahi said on the investor call that UberEats had reached a $4 billion gross revenue run-rate in the fourth quarter, which means food delivery will represent about 10 percent of Uber's business. This attitude is clearly visible in the previous business practices and approaches adopted by the ride-hailing company since its introduction in the U.S. and other potential markets. 'If you draw that out further, a year from now, this could be a significant IPO waiting to happen, ' he said.

Uber considers adjusted earnings before taxes as a better indicator of its financial performance.

CEO Travis Kalanick was ousted in June and replaced by Khosrowshahi in August.

San Francisco-based Uber Technologies Inc.'s results are hard to report because only pieces are released. The fact that Uber's revenue has continued to grow despite an expanding list of setbacks and scandals previous year may suggest that the company hasn't been significantly impacted overall.

Uber is paying $245 million to Google's self-driving auto spin-off to end a legal brawl that aired out allegations of a sinister scheme that tore apart the once-friendly companies. Less than a week into the trial, Uber agreed to give Alphabet shares worth $245 million along with words of "regret" that stopped short of admitting guilt. Later, Levandowski sold that company to Uber and allegedly handed those purloined documents over to the new owners to help with their own autonomous vehicle ambitions.

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