The Korea Herald


Coupang logs record Q3 earnings, stays in black for 5th straight quarter

Buoyed by over 20 million users, Coupang has more room for growth, says CEO

By Lee Yoon-seo

Published : Nov. 8, 2023 - 16:07

    • Link copied

Kim Bom, founder and CEO of Coupang (Coupang) Kim Bom, founder and CEO of Coupang (Coupang)

South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang announced record third quarter earnings amid an increase in its customer numbers and the strong performance of its core businesses.

Coupang has continued its winning streak for five consecutive quarters since reporting profits for the first time in 2022.

According to the New York-listed company's earnings conference call Wednesday, the company's quarterly sales for the July-September period logged $6.18 billion, posting on-year growth of 21 percent. Its operating profits during the period were tallied at $87 million, logging on-year growth of 11 percent.

With the recent financial showings, Coupang's cumulative operating profits from the first quarter to the third quarter now stand at $341 million, as opposed to the operating losses of $195 million during the same period last year.

Coupang said it also generated a record gross profit of $1.56 billion, seeing on-year growth of 27 percent.

Net income was tallied at $91 million, with an improvement of $1 million over last year, and an on-year growth rate of 1 percent.

"We continue to deliver durable growth and expanding profitability, not one at the expense of the other, because of our years of unparalleled investment and an unrelenting focus on both the customer experience and operational excellence," said Kim Bom, founder and chief executive officer of Coupang, during the conference call.

Specifically, Kim attributed Coupang's robust financial results to the rapidly increasing number of Coupang's active customers, which refers to the number of customers who bought a product at least once from Coupang during the quarter.

According to Kim, Coupang's number of active customers was tallied at 20.4 million for this quarter, seeing a 14 percent on-year increase. The number rose by the highest quarterly rate since the first quarter of 2022.

Also, spending per customer logged $303 during the third quarter, rising by 7 percent compared to the same period last year.

Kim said the increased selection of goods on its core services such as Rocket Delivery and Rocket Fresh is progressively drawing in customers and contributing to an increase in spending per capita.

"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," said Kim.

The company's relatively new business initiatives such as Coupang Eats and Coupang Play, or what Coupang calls "developing offerings," also helped in ramping up the company's business results, with the sector recording $217 million in quarterly sales, up 41 percent from the same period last year.

Kim added that Coupang's Rocket Delivery service in Taiwan, which was launched in October 2022, is showing rapid growth, with its growth rate scaling up faster in its first year of operation than it did in its first year in Korea.

"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," said Kim.