South Korea’s Coupang working loss shrinks by a 3rd in 2019 as e-commerce surges

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SEOUL (Reuters) – Coupang Corp, one in every of South Korea’s greatest e-commerce companies, stated on Tuesday its working loss shrank by a 3rd final yr, helped by a 64% climb in income because it expanded its buyer base and on-line demand for residence home equipment and groceries surged.

The SoftBank-backed firm has seen gross sales leap much more this yr as demand spikes amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Its working loss for 2019 got here in at 721 billion received ($593 million), in contrast with a lack of 1.1 trillion received within the earlier yr, it stated in a regulatory submitting.

Income climbed to 7.2 trillion received, the second yr in a row it has seen a leap of greater than 60%.

The stronger efficiency is a comparatively vibrant observe amongst SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) investments. The Japanese funding large stated this week it expects its $100 billion Imaginative and prescient Fund to ebook a lack of 1.eight trillion yen because of the worsening efficiency of its tech bets.

All over the world, the coronavirus pandemic is simply including momentum to the expansion of e-commerce.

On-line purchasing in South Korea jumped 25% to 11.96 trillion received ($9.eight billion) in February from a yr earlier, accounting for 28% of all retail gross sales, based on the federal government’s statistics workplace.

In early March, Coupang stated that since mid-February deliveries had climbed to three million each day in contrast with round 2.2 million per day late final yr.

Some analysts have been, nonetheless, cautious concerning the prices concerned in gaining market share.

“Coupang has been spending quite a bit on advertising and marketing and ads however they must be extra strategic in the case of such further prices as they’re nonetheless not producing revenue,” stated YS Jung, an analyst at NH Funding & Securities.

Based by 41-year-old Harvard graduate Bom Kim in 2010, Coupang made a splash with its ‘Rocket Supply’ service that promised supply inside 24 hours and dealt a pointy blow to the nation’s family-owned retail conglomerates together with Shinsegae and Lotte.

It secured a mixed $three billion in funding from SoftBank (9434.T) and its Imaginative and prescient Fund in 2015 and in 2018.

Reporting by Heekyong Yang; Extra reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Modifying by Edwina Gibbs

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