Uber has announced its first full-year profit after bookings rose by more than a fifth in the last three months of 2023.
The American company’s revenue for the quarter rose by 15% in the three months to December 30, compared with the same period in 2022.
Dara Khosrowshahi, the chief executive, said that 2023 marked a year of “sustainable, profitable growth for Uber” after the company benefited from a shift in consumer spending away from retail towards services.
Use of the ride-hailing app has recovered since the pandemic, and the company’s finances have been supported by the successful launch of its food delivery business, Uber Eats.
Up until 2022, Uber had accumulated $31.5bn in operating losses since 2014, when it started publicly sharing details of its finances.
It saw its first pre-tax operating profit of $326m in the second quarter of last year after suffering a loss of more than $700m in the same period the year before.
Mr Khosrowshahi took over as chief executive six years ago following a series of scandals that led to the exit of Travis Kalanick, one of the company’s founders.
Uber was the subject of an international investigation published last year by the Guardian after more than 100,000 files were leaked revealing the company’s attempts to lobby politicians and cut access to their databases in the event of police raids.
The company said in a statement at the time it would not “make excuses for past behaviour that is clearly not in line with our present values”.
Drivers won payouts in 2021 after the Supreme Court endorsed a landmark employment tribunal ruling they should be classed as workers, entitled to minimum wage and paid holidays.
Shares in the company fell by nearly 2% in pre-market trading on Wednesday.