Grab's sales jump 39% in Q1, ahead of record SPAC deal

FILE PHOTO: Grab's President Ming Maa poses before an interview with Reuters in Singapore August 22, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Grab, Southeast Asia's biggest ride hailing-to-food delivery group's first-quarter adjusted net sales rose 39% to a record $507 million and the Singapore-based firm reduced its losses on the back of a strong performance in its deliveries business.

Grab, which is going public through a record merger worth nearly $40 billion with special-purpose acquisition company Altimeter Growth Corp reiterated that it expects to complete the deal in the fourth quarter.

The company's quarterly financial results were the first it reported as it prepares to get listed. Grab said in a statement that its adjusted EBITDA loss reduced to $111 million in the April quarter from $344 million a year earlier.

"We exceeded our internal targets for adjusted net sales and adjusted EBITDA for Q1 2021, and continued the strong growth momentum of our deliveries business," Peter Oey, Grab's chief financial officer, said in the statement.

With many Southeast Asian countries imposing lockdowns to combat the spread of COVID-19, Grab's ride-hailing business has been affected but the company has benefitted from a boom in food and parcel deliveries and digital payments.

Grab anticipates that the demand for mobility services will continue to experience volatility as a resurgence in COVID-19 cases had affected its markets, leading to renewed restrictions.

Grab's adjusted EBITDA for its mobility business rose 42% to $115 million in the first quarter from a year earlier.

With operations across eight countries and more than 400 cities, Grab is the region's most valuable start-up. Leveraging its ride-hailing business started in 2012, it has moved into food and grocery deliveries, digital payments, and is pushing into insurance and lending in a region of 650 million people.

Earlier this year, Grab's key rival Gojek struck a multi-billion dollar deal with e-commerce leader Tokopedia to bulk up in Indonesia - Southeast Asia's biggest economy.

(Reporting by Anshuman Daga and Aradhana Aravindina; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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