Vietnam's pandemic restrictions greatly widen Grab's losses

November 12, 2021 | 22:51
Due to unusual costs and a general decline in the ride-hailing business following a new surge in COVID-19 infections across Southeast Asia, particularly in Vietnam, Grab Holdings reported a net loss of $988 million in the third quarter, from $621 million a year ago.
Vietnam's pandemic restrictions greatly widen Grab's losses
Mobility restrictions across the region have eaten into Grab's revenue

Grab’s losses include $748 million in non-cash items. This primarily consists of interest accrued on Grab’s convertible redeemable preference shares, stock based compensation and fair value changes on investments.

Meanwhile, Grab's third-quarter revenue was $157 million, down 9 per cent on-year as a result of a decline in mobility due to the severe lockdowns in Vietnam.

The number of monthly transacting users also declined by 8 per cent on-year, as a result of total lockdowns across Vietnam between July and September 2021 which saw both food delivery and ride-hailing services suspended.

Despite a challenging operating environment, the group's Gross Merchandise Value set a new quarterly high of $4.0 billion, up 32 per cent on-year.

“Despite severe lockdowns in Vietnam and heightened restrictions across the region in the third quarter due to COVID-19, we executed well on our superapp strategy and delivered strong growth,” said Anthony Tan, group CEO and co-founder of Grab. “With recovery in sight, and the gradual reopening of economies providing tailwinds to our business, we are doubling down on investments that will help us capture a greater share of the opportunities in front of us and open up new addressable markets for Grab, such as groceries.”

When Vietnam started to ease restrictions, Grab was the first platform to resume offering mobility services within government restrictions in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. The group estimates that monthly transacting users in Vietnam would have grown to 24.8 million after the social distancing period.

Grab also announced in November the addition of new major retail chains to GrabMart as it continues to scale up grocery delivery across Southeast Asia. New partners joining GrabMart include Mega Market in Vietnam, a leading wholesaler and distributor of grocery products.

By Thanh Van

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