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Ola reports first-ever operating profit ahead of potential IPO

Indian ride-hailing company Ola, backed by Japan’s Softbank Group, has notched up its first-ever operating profit since beginning operations a decade ago, company documents showed on Tuesday.

Ola, which has a majority share of India’s ride-hailing market, where it competes with Uber Technologies, has a growing presence in several global markets such as Australia and Britain.

Ola reported standalone operating profit or EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) of 898.2 million rupees ($12 million) for the fiscal year that ended in March 2021, versus a loss of 6.1 billion ($81.55 million).

Despite revenue down 65% from a year ago after a fall in demand for ride-sharing amid pandemic lockdowns, Ola has turned profitable, helped by aggressive cost cuts and a workforce reduction, the filing with the government showed.

Founded in 2010 by Bhavish Aggarwal, Ola plans to raise up to $1 billion through an initial public offering (IPO) in the next few months, joining a slew of Indian start-ups preparing to list.

But the company is set to lose two top executives, its Chief Financial Officer Swayam Saurabh and Chief Operating Officer Gaurav Porwal, Reuters has reported.

The firm has also expanded into leasing cars and building electric scooters.

 

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