Grab says worst of pandemic is over, forecast rebounds in business

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By Nivedita Balu

(Reuters) – Grab Holdings Ltd, Southeast Asia’s leading public transit and food delivery company, on Thursday forecast a rebound in its ride-hailing and food delivery business as economies recover from… a collapse caused by the pandemic.

The company’s ride-sharing business has suffered from pandemic-related restrictions in several markets, but demand is now increasing as offices reopen.

“Our business will continue to strengthen as more and more countries pivot to live with Covid-19,” Chief Executive Anthony Tan said, adding that the first-quarter results showed the “resilience of Europe’s economy. Southeast Asia as we push past the worst of pandemic restrictions.” .”

U.S.-listed shares of Singapore-based Grab, which operates in eight Southeast Asian countries, rose 5% in premarket trading.

Grab said it plans to enter new markets in under-penetrated outlying cities as consumers continue to order online even as lockdowns ease.

It has added 220,000 monthly active drivers since last year, when it started paying incentives to attract more drivers to meet growing demand.

He expects supply to stabilize in the second half of the year and driver incentives as a percentage of GMV to decline.

“The mobility sector is coming back very strongly. It was one of the brightest spots in the first quarter,” Chief Financial Officer Peter Oey said in an interview.

For the second quarter, Grab expects gross merchandise value (GMV), a measure of transaction volume, for the delivery segment to be between $2.55 billion and $2.65 billion, and between 950 million and $1 billion for the mobility unit.

GMV for the two units was $2.56 billion and $834 million, respectively, in the first quarter.

For the year, Grab expects GMV growth of between 30% and 35%.

First-quarter revenue rose 6% to $228 million, while losses narrowed to $435 million from $666 million.

(Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru)