Fri, Nov 03, 2017 - Page 12 News List

PChome posts loss as it expands C2C business

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

PChome Online Inc (網路家庭) yesterday reported it swung into a net loss of NT$14.51 million (US$480,686) last quarter from a net income of NT$325.69 million in the same period a year earlier, marking the first quarterly loss since the fourth quarter of 2008.

The nation’s largest online shopping portal said its losses per share were NT$0.12 last quarter, compared with earnings per share of NT$1.45 in the same period last year.

“Rising operational expenses were the main reason causing the net losses last quarter,” a PChome investor relations official said by telephone.

The company booked NT$1.2 billion in operational expenses during the July-to-September quarter, an increase of 40.31 percent from NT$855.19 million a year earlier and up 24.06 percent from NT$967.21 million in the previous quarter.

Gross margin retreated by 2.02 percentage points annually to 15.15 percent last quarter, while operating margin plunged to minus-1.31 percent from 3.67 percent.

The official attributed the surge in operational expense to PChome subsidiary PChomestore Inc’s (商店街) rising consumer-to-consumer [C2C] business, and the increasing lease and equipment costs caused by its new warehouse in Taoyuan.

However, the official declined to further elaborate on the consequences of the firm’s decision to scrap the minimum purchase for free shipping in August and absorb shipping costs itself.

“PChome is not worried about last quarter’s earnings performance, because the rise in operational costs is necessary as we are aggressively expanding our market position,” the official said.

The company’s combined net profit in the first three quarters totaled NT$324.82 million, or NT$2.78 per share, down 47.73 percent from NT$621.53 million in the same period last year, or NT$5.28 per share.

However, revenue over the period jumped 10.34 percent annually to NT$21.08 billion and the official said the company was confident that the growth momentum would extend into this quarter.

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