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E-commerce Giant Coupang Swings to Profit in Q3, the First Since 2014

(Source: Korean Bizwire)

E-commerce giant Coupang said Thursday it swung to the black in the third quarter for the first time since 2014, when it introduced its ultrafast delivery service, Rocket Delivery.

Net income came to US$90.7 million in the July-September period, compared with a net loss of $324 million during the same period of last year, the New York-listed e-commerce titan said in a regulatory filing.

Coupang’s operating profit came to $77.4 million, the first positive figure since 2014.

The e-commerce giant logged an operating loss of $67.14 million in the previous quarter.

Net revenue grew 10 per cent on-year to $5.1 billion in the third quarter.

Coupang said the revenue of its product commerce division, which includes its Rocket Delivery service, also advanced 10 per cent from a year earlier to $4.9 billion.

The number of active customers inched up 7 per cent on-year, though the increase in spending per customer was slightly lower at 3 per cent.

The top line of its new business areas, including the food delivery service Coupang Eats and video streaming service Coupang Play, inched down 6 per cent from a year earlier to $154.2 million.

The company attributed such results to improved profitability, stemming from its continued investments in tech and efforts to optimize supply chain and business processes.

“Our team was able to leverage machine learning and greatly improve forecast accuracy and inventory placement, which helped reduce fresh inventory waste by over 50 per cent (on-year) in Q3 alone,” said its founder and CEO Kim Bom at a conference call held after the quarterly earnings announcement.

He also mentioned that over 70 per cent of merchants on Coupang are small and midsized enterprises, with less than $2.5 million in annual revenue.

Coupang’s adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) came to $195 million, compared with a deficit of $207.4 million last year.

Coupang made its landmark debut on the New York stock market last year in an effort to expand its global presence.

Its third-quarter results were announced after the market closed.

Shares of Coupang had jumped 8.41 per cent to $17.66 at one point in the early after-hours trading.

The story was originally published on The Korea Bizwire.

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