Food delivery boom helps Uber in tough quarter

Food delivery is proving a lifeline for Uber.

The firm says demand for takeaways exploded over the latest quarter as consumers stayed home.

Revenue at its delivery unit, including Uber Eats, more than doubled as a result, hitting a record 1.45 billion dollars.

The rest of the app’s earnings report was more mixed.

Ride numbers were sapped by a slow recovery in demand, particularly on the U.S. West Coast.

Gross bookings were down 50% on this time last year, though up from the deep slump seen in the spring.

Profit margins also came under pressure, with riders searching hard for the best prices.

Overall that saw third quarter revenue hit 3.13 billion dollars, just short of analyst forecasts.

Now the outlook for the coming months looks very uncertain, with many European countries imposing new restrictions.

Though Uber executives say the firm could see ride bookings drop 20% below pre-crisis levels and still hit its profit targets.

And they see more hope in food delivery, even though the service is still making a loss.

The company says consumers are sticking with Uber Eats, even when local lockdowns ease.