WeWork losses mount but sees ‘seismic shift’ in office leasing to its favor

WeWork Companies LLC’s revenue declined but its cash burn slowed in the third quarter, a company memo showed on Thursday, as management expressed confidence the shared-workplace provider can weather the hit to the global office sector from COVID-19.

Quarterly revenue slid 8% from the second quarter to $811 million, while the company posted negative free cash flow of $517 million, less than $671 million of cash burn a quarter ago, WeWork said in the memo to employees seen by Reuters.

WeWork said member retention improved and renewal rates stabilized with the loss of desks in September at its lowest level since March when COVID-19 shut down businesses around the world and left office buildings vacant.

The pandemic has accelerated a “seismic shift” in the office sector that has put flexibility – an industry byword for the short-term leases the company embraces – and WeWork at the forefront, the memo signed by Chief Executive Sandeep Mathrani and Chief Financial Officer Ben Dunham said.

“This is our moment, and I know that together, we will continue to define the future of work,” they said.