Lyft says its transportation network of
ride-share, bikes, scooters, car rentals and transit brought in $570 million in
the fourth quarter of 2020, a decrease of 44% year-over-year but a 14% increase
compared to the previous quarter.
The company says the surge in COVID-19 cases and
return of restrictions in late 2020 had a negative impact on demand in the fourth
quarter, with ride-share rides down 47% year-over-year in October and falling to
52% year-over-year in December.
To offset that, Lyft reduced driver acquisition
and engagement spending in December, which it says positively impacted its
CFO Brian Roberts says Lyft eliminated $360 million
in fixed costs on an annualized basis in the fourth quarter, which exceeded its
target cost reduction by 20%.
“Despite the difficult backdrop in 2020, we
continued to focus on improving our business for the long-term,” says Logan
Green, co-founder and CEO of Lyft, in a call with analysts
to discuss the results.
“The progress we’ve made has been significant.
I believe we are now in a stronger position than at any time in our past. Given
the improvement we’ve made to our unit economics and our overall cost structure,
we are like a tightly coiled spring, positioned to drive strong organic growth
and margin expansion as the recovery takes hold.”
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Green says Lyft is focused on a future of
transportation-as-a-service and is “the only company in North America that has
a seamless, multimodal transportation platform that can replace car ownership.”
He says autonomous vehicles will accelerate that transition and transform the
ride-sharing industry, and Lyft’s hybrid deployment model will make it a key
player in this arena.
When asked if he thinks the pandemic will
cause permanent changes to Lyft’s business, Green says the “structural factors
that will move people away from fragmented car ownership model ... will remain intact.”
Regarding speculation that urban centers will see
a permanent reduction in population, Green says it is “hype” and “hogwash” that
cities are dead.
And while he does expect the work-from-home dynamic
to be a lasting shift for some people, “one key thing to understand
about our business is, even pre-COVID the commute business was never demand-constrained ... when demand is high we are often supply constrained," Green says. "So things may even out a
little bit, and I think that could even be a net-net positive for the business.”
Roberts says Lyft expects to be profitable by
Q4 of this year – or possibly even Q3 if there is a “strong summer rebound.”
Net loss in the fourth quarter of 2020 was $458.2
million, versus a net loss of $356 million in Q4 2019. Adjusted EBITDA loss for
the quarter was $150 million, an increase of $19.3 million compared to the adjusted
EBITDA loss in Q4 2019 but an improvement of $90 million, or 37%, over Q3 2020.
For the full year 2020, Lyft had revenue of $2.4
billion, a decrease of 35% compared to revenue of $3.6 billion in 2019.
Adjusted EBITDA loss for the full year was $755.2 million versus $678.9 million
Active riders for the fourth quarter of 2020
were 12.6 million, a decline of 45.2% over the same period of 2019 but a slight
improvement over Q3 2020. And revenue per active rider went up to $45.40 in
Q4 2020 compared to $39.94 in Q3 and $44.40 in the final quarter of 2019.
January 2021, Lyft says it has seen positive week-on-week growth in ride-share
rides excluding the week of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, and it anticipates continued improvement
in ride growth in February and March and the remainder of the year. To prepare
for that, the company says it will invest in driver supply to improve service
levels as demand picks up.