Uber executives have warned that they could scale back parts of the taxi business they call apps as they try to guide the company through the coronavirus pandemic.
Comments follow Uber’s announcement on Wednesday that it would cut about 14% of its staff.
This move and others already made by the company will help save over $ 1 billion (£ 810,000) this year.
But executives warned that further measures may be needed.
“There are no sacred cows,” said Uber chief financial officer Nelson Chai.
Uber, known for its racing app, has also ventured into other areas, such as driverless cars and freight. But since CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who took over from the expulsion of founder Travis Kalanick, the company has focused more on its activities and food deliveries.
As the pandemic takes a financial toll, executives have warned that they are looking for places to cut.
“We are carefully examining our overall cost structure … to ensure that our core business of rides and eats emerges stronger than ever,” Khosrowshahi told investors in a call to discuss the company’s quarterly results.
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Uber said revenue in the three months to March 31, 2020 reached $ 3.5 billion, up 14% year-on-year, in part due to higher food delivery.
But the company’s losses went up to $ 2.9 billion, compared to $ 1 billion years ago.
Part of the drop is due to write-downs of the value of minority investments. The company has also been hit by a drop in demand, as countries have started to place residence orders at home.
Uber’s carousel business – which contributes most of its revenue – declined 80% in April after orders were put in place, Khosrowshahi said.
But he added that he was encouraged by signs of recovery.
In Hong Kong, for example, Khosrowshahi said that demand has returned to around 70% of pre-crisis levels. In Texas and Georgia, where officials have eased restrictions, he said that the number of passengers has also increased slightly in recent weeks.
Khosrowshahi said the crisis would delay the company’s goal of becoming profitable with a matter of “quarters, not years”.
“We will continue to seek greater efficiencies. The reality is that the world has changed and we don’t know when the recovery will be,” said Chai.
“We will take the actions we deem necessary.”