Russian online retailer Ozon has reported a sixth consecutive quarter of triple-digit growth in online transaction volumes – its core business metric – and said it now expects to double turnover on its platform this year.
Ozon, which uses couriers, pickup points and parcel lockers to run one of Russia's largest e-commerce platforms, said it handled more than 34 million orders in the quarter, up 161%.
However, its adjusted EBITDA loss widened to RUB 4.9 billion (€55 million) from RUB 4.5 billion a year ago.
Gross merchandise volume (GMV) – a measure of online transactions – grew 135% year-on-year to RUB 74.2 billion in the first three months of the year, prompting the company to raise its full-year GMV growth guidance to 100% from 90%, while sticking to capital expenditure of RUB 20 - RUB 25 billion.
'A Fantastic Start'
Chief executive officer of Ozon, Alexander Shulgin, commented, "We had a fantastic start to the year, with 135% GMV growth in the first quarter, marking the sixth quarter in row with GMV growth exceeding 100%. Ozon marketplace remains the core growth engine for the Group, and continues to scale fast, boosted by rapidly increasing number of merchants joining the platform and 16 million active customers regularly shopping at Ozon.
"In April, we announced the Oney Bank acquisition, marking a new milestone in the development of our financial services vertical. The deal will help Ozon to expand the range and improve quality of the B2B and B2C products offered to our merchants and customers. Finally, Ozon is expanding in CIS with planned operations launch in Belarus.”
The EBITDA loss was above expectations, BCS said in a note, but GMV at this stage is more important.
Ozon, which debuted on the Nasdaq late last year, will be included in the MSCI Russia Index this month and will launch in Belarus later this year as part of its expansion drive.
CFO Igor Gerasimov said continuously strong GMV growth had confirmed the company's strategy of rapid growth and gaining market share.
"We plan to continue scaling and do not intend to slow down the current pace of investment," he said on a conference call.
A significant amount of general and administrative expenses were spent on reinforcing IT infrastructure, Gerasimov added, which included recruiting highly qualified IT professionals.