Grab raises annual profit view after strong first-quarter revenue growth

By Yuvraj Malik

(Reuters) – Grab Holdings raised its full-year profit forecast on Wednesday after reporting a higher-than-expected quarterly revenue, driven by recent cost-reduction measures and robust demand for its ride-share services.

A significant restructuring at Grab, which included reducing 1,000 jobs and slashing some technology costs in 2023, is helping the company push ahead in its goal to deliver positive free cash flow this year.

In an interview with Reuters, CFO Peter Oey said a surge in Southeast Asian tourism, along with an increase in corporate events and concerts in the last quarter, bolstered the demand for ride-share services.

U.S.-listed shares of Grab gained 2% in extended trading following the results, which came in several hours after the markets closed.

The company’s revenue rose 24% to $653 million in the first quarter ended March 31, surpassing analysts’ estimates of $642.4 million, as per LSEG data. It reported adjusted core profit of $62 million versus a $67 million loss last year.

Grab’s food delivery business, its largest revenue stream, and the ride-share business grew 19% and 27%, respectively, outperforming Visible Alpha’s consensus estimates.

The strong showing from Grab, one of Southeast Asia’s biggest tech firms, highlights increased discretionary spending by consumers in the region.

Grab now projects an adjusted core profit between $250 million and $270 million this year, up from its previous forecast of $180 million to $200 million. It maintained its revenue projection at $2.70 billion-$2.75 billion.

The company disclosed a $97 million repurchase of its Class A shares, part of a $500 million buyback plan announced in February.

Grab raises annual profit view after strong first-quarter revenue growth
FILE PHOTO: A Grab logo is pictured at the Money 20/20 Asia Fintech Trade Show in Singapore March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Anshuman Daga/File photo