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Uber turned a profit thanks to its deals in Southeast Asia and Russia

The company saw $2.5 billion in profits on $2.6 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2018.

Dara Khosrowshahi smiles and gives two thumbs up on the set of a TV new program. Instagram

Under new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s business is continuing to grow as it curbs its losses.

The company saw $2.6 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2018, up from $2.4 billion in the last quarter of 2017. The big news is that Uber turned a profit: $2.5 billion, to be exact.

But there’s a big caveat with that figure. Uber gained $2.9 billion after it merged its businesses in Russia and Southeast Asia with local competitors.

Without that, the company would have posted a loss, but one that would be significantly lower than previous quarters. Excluding gains from Uber’s deals with Yandex in Russia and Grab in Southeast Asia, the company lost about $480 million, down from $1.1 billion in losses in the previous quarter and $800 million in the first quarter of 2017.

That’s partly because Uber has started to slow down its spending on subsidizing rides through promotions and driver incentives as its total bookings have grown.

As for total bookings — or the total transactions that are made on the Uber platform before paying drivers — Uber saw $11.3 billion, up from $7.3 billion year over year. The company had $10.8 billion in bookings in the last quarter of 2017.

Fresh off a tender offer with SoftBank, Uber is offering its employees and investors another opportunity to liquidate their shares. The company is doing another third-party tender offer with existing investors TPG and Altimeter and new investors Coatue in the range of $400 million to $600 million. The secondary shares will be priced at $40 per share — valuing Uber at $62 billion.

While this quarter may be a good sign for the company as Khosrowshahi attempts to take it public in 2019, Uber expects to continue investing in growing the business. In addition to building out its core ride-hail business by, for example, expanding its shared-ride offerings, the company is also rapidly expanding its food-delivery business, UberEats, by launching in at least three cities a week.

Uber COO Barney Harford previously told Recode that the company expects to take profits for its core and food-delivery businesses and invest them into future-looking projects like its self-driving efforts and flying cars. The company also recently acquired bike-sharing company Jump, in which Khosrowshahi said his “appetite to invest is infinite.”

As we previously wrote, the company also expects to double down in important international markets like India, the Middle East and Latin America — where Uber is facing new competition from an old rival, Didi.

That’s all to say the company’s margins may not look as good in quarters to come. As Khosrowshahi said at a recent summit, Uber is willing to “take short-term losses in order to bring long-term business.”

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