Coupang Inc., the online retailer popular in South Korea for early and one-day delivery, posted its fourth straight quarterly profit after investments in logistics and membership programs helped shore up margins.
(Bloomberg) — Coupang Inc., the online retailer popular in South Korea for early and one-day delivery, posted its fourth straight quarterly profit after investments in logistics and membership programs helped shore up margins.
The company’s US shares surged more than 6% in extended trading following the report.
Coupang, which went public in New York in 2021, is one of the few major e-commerce companies from Asia that’s turned profitable. Backed by SoftBank Group Corp., the firm has posted a net income since the third quarter of last year, helped by leaner operations and its “Wow” membership service, akin to Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime.
Net income was $145 million for the second quarter, compared with a loss of $75.5 million a year earlier, the US-listed company said Tuesday in a statement. Net revenue climbed 16% to $5.8 billion, in line with analysts’ estimates.
“Our flywheel is accelerating — both revenue and active customers increased at a faster pace this quarter,” Coupang Chief Executive Officer Bom Kim said during a conference call.
Coupang’s active customers, or customers who ordered at least once directly from its app or website during the quarter, rose to a record 19.7 million during the second quarter, up 10% from a year ago.
The company has been trying to increase retention with member perks after raising monthly fees last year to 4,990 won ($3.80) from 2,900 won, and it rolled out new discounts on Coupang Eats.
Like many of its peers, Coupang’s core online retail business grew during the pandemic to meet demand for deliveries including fresh vegetables and home appliances. While the overall e-commerce market has since decelerated, Coupang sustained growth, helped by a delivery service supported by a network of automated fulfillment centers.
Coupang has exited Japan and other areas, but said it is setting its sights on Taiwan and will boost investment there. The company is earmarking about $400 million in new ventures, such as expanding in Taiwan, streaming and meal delivery businesses, Kim said. That’s up from its previous guidance of $225 million.
–With assistance from Sohee Kim, Kurt Schussler, Mayumi Negishi and Vlad Savov.
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