Polish e-commerce platform Allegro reported fourth quarter core profit above analysts' estimates, as it benefitted from a shift to online shopping during the coronavirus pandemic.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) were 513.5 million zlotys (€112.7 million) in the fourth quarter, compared with a projection of 478 million zlotys (€104.9 million) in a Reuters poll.
Allegro dominates the e-commerce market in Poland, which was boosted in the fourth quarter by COVID-19 restrictions that meant many shops had to close. But the market is about to become more competitive with Amazon launching its Polish website this week.
Konrad Grygo, analyst at Erste Group, said that after such a strong fourth quarter investors could have been hoping for more optimistic 2021 guidance.
"Allegro is traded at high multiples so it requires very bullish information. Maybe some investors are worried about the growing expansion which will dilute margins even more."
The company is targeting year-on-year growth in gross merchandise value at a percentage in the high teens in 2021, with net revenue expected to grow at a percentage in the high 20s and adjusted core profit growing at a percentage in the mid-teens.
"In the last months of the year we all once again strongly experienced the economic and social impact of COVID-19, including re-closing of some brick-and-mortar stores," chief executive officer Francois Nuyts said in a statement.
He added that Poles were "more and more willing to do their daily shopping online and increasingly do so on Allegro".
The company said that capital expenditure would be 560–600 million zlotys (€122.9 – €131.7 million) in 2021, compared with 230 million zlotys (€50.5 million) in 2020, as the company invests in its platform and new logistics solutions such as a pilot project for its own parcel lockers.