Uber revenue up 38% but losses widen in third quarter

Uber Technologies Inc. on Wednesday released financials that show revenue growth slowed and the human cloud firm’s loss exceeded $1 billion in the third quarter. The ride-sharing company also announced a new rewards program following a similar move by its competitor, Lyft.

Revenue growth of 38% in the third quarter was almost half of what the growth rate was six months earlier, Bloomberg and other media outlets reported. The San Francisco-based company lost $1.07 billion in the quarter ended Sept. 30, an improvement from a year ago but 20% larger than the second quarter.

Gross bookings — the total amount Uber takes in without subtracting driver fees and other costs — increased 6% quarter over quarter and 34% year over year at $12.7 billion.

TechCrunch reported Uber’s net losses increased 32% quarter over quarter to $939 million on a pro forma basis, but Uber expected these losses as it continues to invest in future growth areas.

“As we look ahead to an IPO and beyond, we are investing in future growth across our platform, including in food, freight, electric bikes and scooters, and high-potential markets in India and the Middle East where we continue to solidify our leadership position,” Uber CFO Nelson Chai wrote in a statement.

Uber also provided insight into it food delivery business for the first time.

Uber Eats generated $2.1 billion in gross bookings, which represents 17% of Uber’s $12.7 billion in gross bookings last quarter and is growing more than 150% year over year. Uber recently told TechCrunch it intends to expand Eats to cover 70% of the US population by the end of this year.

Uber’s reward program, announced separately yesterday, allows participants to earn points based on the services they use. Among other incentives, rewards include $5 added to their Uber Cash balance for every 500 points earned, which can be spent on both rides and Uber Eats. Uber Rewards will initially launch in nine cities, and expand nationwide in the next few months.

The move follows the launch of Lyft’s reward program on Nov. 12. Riders in its program also earn points for each dollar spent for rewards such as upgrades to Lyft Lux or savings on future rides.

Calian’s revenue up 9% in fiscal Q4 on growth in business and technology division

Calian Group Ltd. (TSX: CGY) reported revenue rose 8.9% in its fiscal fourth quarter ended Sept. 30. Revenue growth came in the company’s business segment that includes staffing.

(C$ thousands) Q4 2018 Q4 2017 % change   Q4 2018 (USD $000s)
Revenue $78,727 $72,321 8.9% $60,948
Gross profit $15,287 $14,209 7.6%   $11,835
Gross margin percentage 19.4% 19.6%      
Net profit for the period $4,271 $4,327 -1.3% $3,306

The Ottawa-based firm reports revenue in two segments: “Business and technology services” and “systems engineering.”

Revenue rose 19.4% in the business and technology services segment, which includes staffing and other services. The gain offset a 14.4% decrease in Calian’s systems engineering segment, which includes engineering services.

Revenue by segment

(C$ thousands) Q4 2018 Q4 2017 % change   Q4 2018 (USD $000s)
Business and technology services $59,423 $49,777 19.4% $46,004
Systems engineering $19,304 $22,544 -14.4% $14,945

Full fiscal-year results

(C$ thousands) FY 2018 FY 2017 % growth   FY 2018 (USD $000s)
Revenue $304,958 $275,423 10.7% $236,089
Gross profit $59,692 $52,904 12.8%   $46,212
Gross margin percentage 19.6% 19.2%      
Net profit for the period $16,077 $15,390 4.5% $12,446

Calian last month reported that Kevin Ford resumed full duties as president and CEO following a temporary health setback. Ford in April suffered a cardiovascular event over the Easter weekend. 


“With a contracted backlog of over C$1 billion, positive cash flows and a strong balance sheet, Calian is uniquely positioned to leverage a strong financial position for continued investment in both organic and acquisitive growth,” Ford said.


Calian expects revenue for fiscal 2019 to be in the range of C$330 million to C$360 million.

Share price and market cap

Calian shares were up 0.42% to C$28.92 at 12:40 p.m. Eastern time; the company had a market cap of C$223.63 million, according to FT.com

Tech employment dips in October: TechServe Alliance

IT employment decreased in October from September after years of continuous month-over-month growth, the TechServe Alliance announced. The number of IT jobs in the US edged down 0.02% to a total of approximately 5.34 million, according to the group, which serves as the national trade association of the IT and engineering staffing and solution industry.

“Following the continuous deceleration of the rate of growth throughout 2018, IT employment actually declined in October,” said TechServe Alliance CEO Mark Roberts. “We are entering a new era where supply is insufficient to support demand inhibiting growth. The current administration’s restrictive immigration policies only accelerate this trend.”

However, on a year-over-year basis, IT employment was still up by 0.35% in October with 18,400 more IT workers than the previous year.

The TechServe Alliance also measures engineering employment, which edged up by 0.23% in October from September. Engineering employment rose 2.39% on a year-over-year basis, an increase of 61,000 engineering workers.

US executives optimistic for 2019, talent acquisition top serious concern

Executives are optimistic about their businesses growth in 2019 but concerned about a shortage of available talent, according to the Employer Associations of America’s 2018 National Business Trends Survey.

Nearly 74% of executive surveyed described their projected 2019 business outlook as a slight to significant increase in sales/revenue. And more than half, 54%, reported they plan to hire permanent staff in 2019, with 72% hiring to fill newly created jobs.

Survey respondents’ top-five serious concerns within the next year include:

  1. Talent acquisition: 54%
  2. Talent retention: 41%
  3. Ability to pay for benefit costs: 28%
  4. Ability to pay competitive wages: 33%
  5. Competition in general: 28%

Looking longer-term, the executives cited the following as their top serious concerns within the next five years:

  1. Talent acquisition: 57%
  2. Talent retention: 48%
  3. Ability to pay for benefit costs: 43%
  4. Ability to pay competitive wages: 40%
  5. Competition in general: 34%

Respondents identified adjusting pay ranges upward, focusing on existing staff receiving additional training and development, and increasing starting salaries as the top strategies to overcome recruitment and retention challenges.

The 2018 survey included 1,295 participating organizations throughout the US.

Canada drops 23,000 jobs in October as hiring slows ‘significantly’: ADP

Employment in Canada fell by 23,000 jobs in October from September, according to the ADP Canada National Employment Report. However, job gains in September were revised upward to 66,900 jobs from the previously reported gain of 28,800 jobs.

“Hiring slowed significantly this month,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, VP and co-head of the ADP Research Institute. “Despite steep declines in trade, natural resources and mining, and leisure and hospitality, we did see some solid growth in education and healthcare, manufacturing, and professional services.”

In the goods-producing sector, jobs fell by 4,700 in natural resources and mining and by 1,800 in construction; jobs in manufacturing rose by 3,000.

Jobs in trade/transportation and utilities, which led losses in the service-providing sector, were down by 14,700 jobs, followed by losses of 3,800 jobs in leisure and hospitality and 3,400 jobs in information.

On the flip side, administrative and support jobs increased by 4,200 and education and healthcare jobs rose by 3,700.

The ADP Research Institute produces the report in close collaboration with Moody’s Analytics Inc. Derived from actual ADP payroll data, the report measures the change in total nonfarm payroll employment each month on a seasonally adjusted basis.

‘Best Staffing Firms to Work For’ nominations due Friday

The deadline to take part in Staffing Industry Analysts’ annual “Best Staffing Firms to Work For” program is tomorrow. That is the day nominations are due for the list.

The program is open to staffing firms in North America and the UK.

Top firms will be profiled in Staffing Industry Review magazine as well as online. Winning companies will be identified based on the results of an employee engagement survey of staffing firm internal employees and a net promoter score survey of staffing firm temporary and contract employees. They will be announced at the Staffing Industry Executive Forum scheduled for Feb. 25 to 29, 2019, in Austin, Texas.

Read about last year’s ‘Best Staffing Firms to Work For’ winners here.

Adecco’s chief executive calls for life-long learning to avoid jobs ‘time bomb’ (Reuters)

Companies should set up portable accounts to pay for life-long learning to help workers upgrade their skills and remain employable as robots take over more jobs, Alain Dehaze, chief executive of The Adecco Group, told Reuters. “If they don’t quickly reform their education system, countries will create a time bomb,” Dehaze said. “They won’t have the correct talent anymore and companies will move away.”