© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The WeWork logo is seen on a cup at a WeWork office in Beijing

By Sheila Dang and Abhijith G

(Reuters) – WeWork Chief Executive Sandeep Mathrani said Wednesday the co-working firm is “completely on track” to reach profitability by the fourth quarter of this year, and its office spaces in China have nearly bounced back to pre-pandemic levels.

Mathrani took the helm at WeWork in February to turn around the company after a disastrous period in which WeWork scrapped its initial public offering, fired its founder Adam Neumann and faced bankruptcy.

In an interview during the Reuters Next conference, Mathrani told Reuters Global Industry Editor Vanessa O’Connell he expects many Americans will still want to work in an office environment despite the ongoing pandemic.

“We’ve seen mental health reasons for people who want to come back to work (in the office),” he said. “I’m a firm believer that the office is an important part of everyday living.”

WeWork locations in China “are back to virtually 90% of pre-COVID levels from an occupancy perspective and leasing and demand perspective,” Mathrani said.

He added that WeWork currently has $3 billion of liquidity on its balance sheet, which is enough to carry the company through 2022.

Mathrani said last month WeWork posted its best membership sales numbers since December 2019.

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