Uber Lost a Whole Lot of Money in 2014 While Trying to Expand Overseas
The international business of Uber, the U.S.-based ride-hailing service, lost $237 million in 2014, a big increase on a deficit of $31.9 million the previous year, as the company expanded around the globe.
The figures, the latest available, were disclosed in an official filing lodged with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce last month. Uber's international headquarters are in Amsterdam.
Although the filing excludes the company's U.S. operations, it offers a rare snapshot of Uber's overseas performance as it rolled out its service to big cities around the world -- often meeting resistance from established taxi services.
Company spokesman Gareth Mead said the filing had been deposited with Dutch authorities for the first time this year, and the figures reflect a "rapidly growing company investing in more people and in more cities."
Uber's service was available in fewer than 100 cities at the start of 2014, compared with more than 400 now, Mead added.
The privately-held company does not publish group profit and loss figures, although documents leaked last year showed it made a company-wide loss of $109 million in the second quarter of 2014.
The international operations encompass more than two dozen operating companies around the globe, notably in China. Losses will probably be higher in 2015, as CEO Travis Kalanick said last month the company was losing "a billion dollars a year" in China amid a price war.
The filing, deposited at the Chamber of Commerce on Feb. 3 and first reported on Wednesday by Dutch broadcaster RTL, shows Uber International CV had net turnover of $68.3 million in 2014. The filing did not provide a comparable sales figure for 2013.
Major factors contributing to the large loss included a $126 million cost of sales, $36 million in wages and salaries, and $129 million in "other operating expenses."
The documents showed the company had 355 international employees in 2014, around 40 of them in the Netherlands.
San Francisco, Calif.-based Uber Technologies, Inc. is frequently said to be worth $40 billion, based on the pricing of the sale of some of its shares to private investors in 2014.
(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Keith Weir)