Grab's second-quarter net loss widens to $1.09b

Ride-hailing and delivery giant cuts full-year outlook, citing uncertainty over Covid-19

Grab sank deeper into the red in its second quarter, even as revenue more than doubled.

South-east Asia's ride-hailing and delivery giant this week cut its full-year projections for several key metrics this year, citing renewed uncertainty amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

It posted a net loss of US$815 million (S$1.09 billion) for the three months ended June 30, exceeding the US$718 million net loss recorded a year earlier. This was due mainly to an increase in interest expense on Grab's convertible redeemable preference shares, a non-cash item.

Grab's revenue for the quarter swelled 132 per cent year on year to US$180 million. The bulk of this - US$118 million - came from the mobility segment, where revenue jumped 128 per cent.

The deliveries segment was up 92 per cent to US$45 million, while the company's financial services contributed US$6 million.

"We had a strong quarter with double-and, in some cases, triple-digit growth year-over-year across all of our core verticals. This was in spite of a worsening Covid-19 environment, which saw many South-east Asian countries tightening movement restrictions as cases surged," said group chief executive officer and co-founder Anthony Tan.

Grab's total gross merchandise value (GMV), a metric used to measure transaction volumes, jumped 62 per cent to a record US$3.9 billion. GMV for deliveries grew 58 per cent to US$2.1 billion, while GMV for mobility rose 93 per cent to US$685 million.

"Our deliveries business continues to outperform and is growing rapidly with the addition of new offerings such as GrabMart and GrabSupermarket, and we expect to continue investing heavily in this segment," Mr Peter Oey, the company's chief financial officer, said.

Grab expects to report group-level adjusted net sales of US$2.1 billion to US$2.2 billion, a step down from the US$2.3 billion it initially projected in April. It expects full-year gross merchandise value of US$15 billion to US$15.5 billion, trimmed from an earlier forecast of US$16.7 billion.

The company also forecast an adjusted Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) loss of US$0.7 billion to US$0.9 billion for this year, against a previously projected Ebitda loss of US$0.6 billion.

"Grab's full-year 2021 outlook anticipates an extension of partial and complete lockdowns throughout several countries where Grab operates as a result of the continuing spread of Covid-19," the company said.

As at end-June, Grab had US$5.3 billion in cash and cash equivalents, up from US$3.7 billion as at end-2020. Total outstanding debt was US$2.1 billion. This was primarily due to the closing of Grab's first senior secured term loan facility of US$2 billion at the end of January.

The second-quarter results come as Grab prepares to go public in the United States through a record deal with special purpose acquisition company Altimeter Growth.

Grab said the US$39.6 billion merger is still expected to be completed in the fourth quarter. The deal was postponed from the third quarter as Grab works on a review of its financials.

THE BUSINESS TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 15, 2021, with the headline 'Grab's second-quarter net loss widens to $1.09b'. Subscribe