Ridesharing Lyft says it’s seeing the beginnings of a return to business travel.
Speaking on the company’s third-quarter earnings call, Chief Financial Officer Brian Roberts said: “I’d say we’re starting to see a slight uptick in business trips, but it’s early. We expect this to become more evident as more companies return to the office.”
His optimism about the return came, in part, from flight statistics at the airport. “Flights at the airport came in at 8.5 percent of all rides involved in the third quarter,” Roberts said. “If you go back two years ago, flights at the airport were 9.1% of all rides in the third quarter of 2019. So while leisure was strong, We think some of these trips are at the airport [are] Indeed the beginning of corporate travel.”
Roberts said many companies have delayed returning to the office until the first quarter of 2022 after the summer spike in Covid cases in the United States.
“This is evident in a city like San Francisco … San Francisco has recovered only 40 percent,” he added. “I’m willing to bet San Francisco will regain its former glory.”
Lyft’s third-quarter revenue was $864.4 million versus $499.7 million in the third quarter of 2020, an increase of 73 percent year-over-year. This compares to pre-Covid Q3 revenue of $955.6 million in 2019.
Despite the challenges of Covid, the company trimmed its net loss to $71.5 million from $459.5 million in 2020 and $463.5 million in 2019.
The increased frequency of rides by users drove the company’s revenue per active rider figure to a record $45.13, helping it generate a second consecutive profit quarter on an adjusted EBITDA basis. The number of active riders rose to 18.9 million, up from 8.7 million at the start of the pandemic.
“We had a fantastic quarter,” said Logan Green, Lyft co-founder and CEO. “The supply of drivers improved substantially in the third quarter, up nearly 45 percent from last year, reflecting strong trends for new drivers. We are well positioned to continue the recovery.” I am excited to build on the momentum in our business.”
Lyft Q2 earnings