Grab revenue rises, loss narrows on delivery, ride demand

Grab managed to grow paying users 10 per cent after South-east Asian countries removed pandemic-era restrictions. PHOTO: ST FILE

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - Grab Holdings said revenue rose 6 per cent in the first quarter after the ride-hailing and delivery company won back consumers as the pandemic receded in South-east Asia.

Revenue increased to US$228 million (S$316 million) after the Singapore-based company added sales from Jaya Grocer, a platform it acquired in January.

That was more than the US$139.2 million analysts were expecting, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Grab's net loss narrowed to US$435 million, as the company fights to gain profitability following years of heavy spending in pursuit of market share.

The company managed to grow paying users 10 per cent to 30.9 million after South-east Asian countries removed pandemic-era restrictions. Per-user spending climbed 19 per cent, it said.

Unlike other Internet companies that are grappling with cooling post-Covid-19 online activity, Grab's car-hailing and delivery businesses benefit as life returned to normal.

The company had struggled since becoming a publicly listed company in the United States through a merger with a blank-check company in December.

Mounting losses, coupled with a broad tech sell-off, have weighed on its shares, which have lost more than 70 per cent since the start-up went public.

Revenue from the delivery business jumped 70 per cent to US$91 million, while revenue from the mobility business declined 22 per cent to US$112 million.

Revenue from financial services rose to US$11 million.

Deliveries gross merchandise value (GMV) was US$2.56 billion versus its forecast of US$2.4 billion to US$2.5 billion.

Mobility GMV was US$834 million versus its forecast of US$750 million to US$800 million.

The company said it expects full-year revenue to increase to US$1.2 billion to US$1.3 billion.

Grab's cash and cash equivalents fell to US$3.4 billion at the end of March from about US$5 billion at the end of 2021, partly because of cash outflow from operating activities and the acquisition of Jaya Grocer. 

Partner incentives climbed 55 per cent to US$216 million, while consumer incentives rose 85 per cent to US$344 million.

The company sees GMV growing 30 per cent to 35 per cent in 2022.

Grab shares rose more than 3.5 per cent in pre-market trading in New York.

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