Credit: REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Uber claimed to have reached its first ever quarterly profit Thursday night after the easing of pandemic restrictions boosted demand for travel.

The taxi app reported an adjusted profit of $8m (£5.9m) for the three months to the end of September, compared to a $625m loss the previous year.

That followed a 57pc increase in gross bookings to $23.1bn as demand for transport bounced back from 2020’s brutal lows.

However, shares were flat in after hours trading on the back of a weaker than expected outlook.

It predicted gross bookings of $25bn to $26bn during the fourth quarter and another quarterly profit, of $25m to $75m – down from expectations of closer to $100m.

None the less, it is the first time the company has been in the black since it was founded in 2009, having racked up cumulative losses of more than £16bn over the past 12 years.

Nelson Chai, Uber’s finance chief, said: “While we recognise it’s just a step, reaching total-company adjusted profitability is an important milestone for Uber.”

Uber was initially hit by lockdowns as people travelled less and demand for taxis plunged.

The blow was only softened by surging takeaway orders, boosting the firm’s food delivery arm.

But now more people are taking Uber rides again as office meetings and nightlife returns, with some people still uncomfortable about taking public transport.

Uber said bookings over the Halloween weekend had surpassed 2019 levels, underlining the returning demand.

Drivers are also steadily returning to its platform after an exodus during lockdown periods.

The company’s food delivery business remained bigger than the taxi service in the third quarter, with the divisions pulling in $12.8bn and $9.9bn respectively.