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Pinduoduo sales beat expectations, narrowing loss

Chinese e-commerce platform Pinduoduo reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue on Thursday, helped by strong demand as the domestic economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Online retailers have largely benefited from the pandemic, as individuals staying home use e-commerce platforms like Alibaba , Pinduoduo and JD to purchase everything from groceries to electric appliances.

The Pinduoduo app.

The interactive buying platform’s third-quarter net loss attributable to shareholders narrowed to 784.7 million yuan (US$118.6 million) from 2.34 billion yuan a year earlier, with the company inching towards breaking even for the first time.

Non-GAAP net profit, reported for the first time since the company’s listing in 2018, was 466.4 million yuan compared with a loss of 1.66 billion yuan a year before.

“This is a milestone,” said Natalie Wu, internet analyst at Haitong International Securities.

Pinduoduo’s revenue surged 89 per cent to 14.21 billion yuan in the third quarter, beating analysts’ estimates of 12.34 billion yuan, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company reported a 12-month gross merchandise volume (GMV) of 1.5 trillion yuan, a metric that indicates sales growth. This was up 73 per cent from last year.

The number of average monthly active users on the platform rose by 50 per cent to 643.4 million during the quarter, while active buyers rose 36 per cent to 731.3 million.

“Annual active buyer (numbers are) further closer to that of Alibaba,” said Wu. Alibaba had 757 million annual active consumers on its China retail marketplaces by the end of September.

  • Reporting by Eva Mathews and Sophie Yu of Reuters.

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