Uber bookings are at the highest in a year as more Americans get vaccinated

April 12, 2021, 2:46 PM UTC

Uber Technologies Inc. said gross bookings last month were the highest in a year as vaccination rates increase in the U.S., encouraging more people to get out of their homes.

The company’s mobility unit, which handles ride-hailing services, passed $30 billion in annualized gross bookings run rate in March, Uber said in a securities filing Monday. Average daily bookings rose 9% from February.

At the same time, Uber’s delivery service grew more than 150% from a year earlier, crossing a $52 billion annualized run rate in March. The shares rose about 5% in the first minutes of trading Monday.

The San Francisco-based company was hard hit when the pandemic struck last year and people stopped going in to work and school and avoided most communal transportation. Its food-delivery service, Uber Eats, benefited, however, with restaurants shuttered and more people ordering takeout. The filing showed that Uber is seeing strong demand for both offerings.

Demand for rides is recovering faster than Uber’s ability to find drivers, the company said, and demand for meal delivery continues to exceed courier availability. Last week, Uber said it would spend $250 million to get drivers back on the road and recruit new ones as the coronavirus pandemic eases in the U.S.

The company said it’s still on track to reach profitability in quarterly adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in 2021. Uber said that as a result of a recent ruling in the U.K. that will require it to classify its drivers as workers, the company expects to record a significant accrual related to these historical claims and other related costs in its first quarter 2021 results.

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