Coupang shares slides overshadowing its record Q3 earnings and growing customer base

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In a recent announcement, South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang has continued its impressive financial winning streak by revealing record third-quarter earnings. These outstanding results are attributed to the company’s relentless focus on customer experience and operational excellence, as well as robust performance across its core businesses.

Coupang’s third-quarter earnings report, unveiled during its New York-listed company’s earnings conference call, painted a remarkable picture of the company’s financial health. During the July-September period, Coupang achieved quarterly sales of $6.18 billion, marking a significant 21 percent year-over-year growth. Operating profits reached $87 million for the same period, reflecting an 11 percent year-over-year growth.

What’s even more impressive is that these results mark the fifth consecutive quarter of profitability for Coupang. The cumulative operating profits for the first three quarters of the year now stand at $341 million, a remarkable turnaround from the operating losses of $195 million experienced during the same period last year.

Coupang’s net income showed steady improvement, reaching $91 million, with a year-over-year growth rate of 1 percent.

Coupang’s Founder and CEO, Kim Bom, attributed the company’s exceptional financial results to the rapidly growing number of active customers. Active customers are defined as those who have made at least one purchase from Coupang during the quarter. This quarter, Coupang counted 20.4 million active customers, representing a significant 14 percent year-over-year increase—the highest quarterly growth rate seen since the first quarter of 2022.

Moreover, the average spending per customer during the third quarter rose to $303, marking a 7 percent increase compared to the same period in the previous year. This surge in spending per customer is partially attributed to the expanding selection of goods available on Coupang’s core services, including Rocket Delivery and Rocket Fresh, which continue to draw in customers and boost per capita spending.

Kim Bom expressed optimism about the future, stating, “We believe we still have a significant opportunity ahead in both the number of active customers and the (amount spent) per customer. Our active customer count is just 20 million, and our single-digit share of the total retail market indicates a low share of wallets today.”

In addition to its core e-commerce business, Coupang’s relatively new business initiatives, such as Coupang Eats and Coupang Play, have contributed significantly to the company’s growth. These “developing offerings” generated $217 million in quarterly sales, marking an impressive 41 percent increase from the same period last year.

Furthermore, Coupang’s expansion into international markets has shown promising results. The Rocket Delivery service, which was launched in Taiwan in October 2022, has demonstrated rapid growth, outpacing its initial growth rate in Korea. Kim Bom mentioned, “Our app is on pace to be the most downloaded app in the (Taiwanese) market for all of 2023. We’re off to a promising start. Our growth in Taiwan is also opening doors … for our merchants and suppliers in Korea.”

Coupang’s continuous dedication to customer experience and innovation, as well as its growing customer base and expanding range of services, have clearly paid off, solidifying its position as a leading e-commerce giant. As the company continues to break records and explore new avenues for growth, it remains a force to be reckoned with in the world of e-commerce.

(Source: Lee Yoon-seo | The Korea Herald | Yoolim Lee | Bloomberg)

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