Uber Technologies Inc. said quarterly bookings from ride-hailing customers declined for the first time ever, a sign that the coronavirus is arresting growth of businesses that have only gone in one direction.
The San Francisco-based company has never turned a quarterly profit, but it inched closer to that goal in the quarter. Uber’s first-quarter loss excluding taxes, interest and other expenses declined 30 percent from a year ago to $612 million. That was better than an average of analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
However, its net loss in the quarter was $2.9 billion, which included a $2.1 billion pretax writedown of the value of some of Uber’s minority investments.
One bright spot was food delivery, which helped offset the drop in rides. Homebound customers drove a 52 percent increase in food delivery gross bookings to $4.68 billion in the first quarter. Gross bookings from rides, a measure of the total value of fares that’s closely watched by investors, dropped…