Uber reported mixed Q1 2021 earnings with its revenue missing expectations but losses reducing significantly. More importantly, the ride-hailing and food-delivery giant offered signs of things returning to pre-pandemic normal, at least in its primary market, the US. The company further reaffirmed its expectation to reach adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) profitability in the second half of the year. "As vaccination rates rise, infections fall and restrictions lift, people quickly breathe a sigh of relief and start moving again. There’s pent-up demand to see family and friends. Offices, restaurants and bars are reopening and even airports are seeing improved traffic," Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said during the earnings call with investors on Wednesday. Ride-hailing recovering to 2019 levels, but driver shortage to be addressed Uber's mobility division in the US, specifically in regions like New York City, New Jersey, Austin, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta are all 70% to 80% recovered versus 2019 gross booking levels. Miami has grown further to post growth versus 2019. Outside of the US, countries like Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, which all managed the pandemic relatively well, saw positive growth compared to April 2019. The UK, which only started reopening in April, has also recovered 80% versus 2019. The only major market which continues to be adversely impacted is India, which is facing a deadly second wave and has imposed fresh lockdowns. While riders are coming back to the platform, drivers are still hesitant. The primary concern for drivers seems to be…
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