Uber Eats grabs spotlight from ride-sharing business wounded by coronavirus

Second quarter marked the height of lockdown orders imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19

Uber's delivery business, including the popular Uber Eats, more than doubled in the three months through June, curbing the financial pain from shrinking use of the company's ubiquitous ride-sharing service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Uber Eats revenue grew 113% to roughly $1.2 billion, while bookings for the ride-sharing service tumbled 73 percent, the San Francisco-based company said in a statement.

The change in fortunes made delivery services the largest business for Uber, easily outstripping the $790 million in ride-sharing revenue.

The three-month period in spring and early summer marked the height of lockdown orders imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19, a time when Americans were particularly wary of public transportation and ride-sharing services such as Uber and rival Lyft.

Some 4.8 million U.S. residents have contracted the highly contagious disease this year and more than 160,000 have died.

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"Our team continues to move at Uber speed to respond to the pandemic’s impact on our communities and on our business," CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on an earnings call. “As some people stay closer to home, more people are ordering from Uber Eats than ever before."

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Despite growth in delivery services, the company said overall revenue fell 29% to $2.2 billion. After expenses, Uber lost $1.78 billion, or $1.02 a share.

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UBERUBER TECHNOLOGIES INC.35.56+1.10+3.19%

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To minimize the impact on its bottom line, Uber laid off roughly 3,700 full-time employees, 14 percent of its staff. Khosrowshahi said he would waive his salary for the rest of the year, according to a regulatory filing from May.

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