Uber Is Still Losing Carloads Of Money

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People walk down Market Street past sign with logo at the headquarters of ride-sharing technology company Uber in the South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood of San Francisco, California, October 13, 2017. SoMa is known for having one of the highest concentrations of technology companies and startups of any region worldwide. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

Uber lost $4.5 billion in 2017 and posted sales of just under $7.5 billion, the ride-hailing company told investors Tuesday. The loss was 61 percent more than the year before, according to data obtained by CNBC.

Despite the eye-popping figures, Uber is making headway on slowing the bleeding.

Uber, a private company, doesn’t have to publicly disclose earnings. But The Wall Street Journal, which reviewed the company’s figures, reported Uber increased sales by at least 10 percent every quarter in 2017. In the fourth quarter ― the first three-month period under new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi ― the company increased the total value of all its fares 60 percent from the prior year, to $11.06 billion.

Bloomberg notes Uber ended 2017 with about $6 billion in cash on hand, 13 percent less than the year earlier.

Last month, Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. acquired a roughly 15-percent stake in the company, giving it a fresh infusion of cash and becoming Uber’s largest shareholder.

Khosrowshahi said previously he wants to take the company public by 2019, which means Uber eventually will have to pull back the curtain on details of its financial performance. Complicating matters, the company has been without a chief financial officer since 2015.

Uber’s tumultuous 2017 included the exit of former CEO Travis Kalanick, whose tenure was marked by controversies that included sexual harassment and discrimination, and questionable business practices.