Uber India’s ride hailing business has managed decent growth in its scale in FY22 after witnessing over 47% erosion during the pandemic-laden fiscal year. Its collection from ride-hailing vertical grew 29.5% and reached the Rs 388 crore mark in the last fiscal year.
Revenue of Uber India Systems which owns and operates the local entity grew 7.3% to Rs 397 crore during the fiscal year ending March 2022 from Rs 370 crore in FY21, according to the company’s annual financial statement with the Registrar of Companies (RoC).
Uber India generated around 98% of its operating income via its ride-hailing biz which surged 29.5% to Rs 388.23 crore in FY22 from Rs 299.7 crore in FY21. Its revenue for providing support services to group companies went down by 87.7% to Rs 8.72 crore during FY22.
The business support segment made up a larger part of Uber India’s revenue until FY20 when it collected Rs 560.33 crore from its Amsterdam-based parent in lieu of support services provided during that fiscal.
The local entity also earned interest on current investments and non-operating income of Rs 163.6 crore which took its total revenue to Rs 560 crore in the last fiscal year (FY22).
On the expense side, Uber India has booked 51% of its expenditure as the cost of materials consumed which represents the payments to fleet operators, drivers, and other external contractors for its ride-hailing business. The company has controlled expenses on these which grew only 9.6% to Rs 437 crore during the year from Rs 398.7 crore in FY21.
Significantly, employee benefit and advertising cum promotional expenses declined 44.1% and 63.6% respectively to Rs 151 crore and Rs 44 crore during FY22. It’s worth noting that Uber India had downsized its workforce during FY21 and cut back on advertising which resulted in a massive fall in expenses on both.
On the contrary, its legal cum professional fees spiked 71.7% to Rs 28.84 crore in FY22 from Rs 16.8 crore in FY21. Uber also incurred Rs 36.28 crore on rent and utility costs including repairs, insurance, electricity, safety, and security-related expenses.
In total, Uber India’s annual expenditure declined 13.4% to Rs 853 crore in FY22 as compared to Rs 985 crore in FY21. With controlled expenses, the company cut down its losses by 35.3% to Rs 216 crore during the last fiscal year from Rs 334 crore in FY21. Its cash outflows from operations also improved by 72% to Rs 222 crore during FY22.
Coming to ratios, the EBITDA margin and ROCE bettered to -44.77% and -16.95% during the year which could be ascribed to the sharp cut down in employee benefits and promotional expenses. On a unit level, Uber India spent Rs 2.15 to earn a rupee of operating revenue in FY22.
It will take a very strong optimist to see a silver lining in these results. After all the hype and expansion, Uber India is a pale shadow of what it promised to deliver till 2019. It had made projections of Rs 1,000 crore plus in revenue from the ride-hailing business in India in 2020 in a valuation report in 2019. While its business continues to serve many markets as a key transport option, the firm has failed miserably to deliver on its promise of making personal vehicle ownership redundant at some stage. It has kept a low profile in recent months, with good reason, as both its driver ‘partners’ and users seem none too happy with the services, going by anecdotal evidence as well as more detailed reports. Without a drastic change in approach, the suspicion remains high that the end of the road is never too far away for Uber India.