South Korea’s fresh food early morning delivery pioneer Market Kurly readying initial public offering in the United States saw its sales more than double to near 1 trillion won ($889.4 million) last year from a year ago on explosive demand for online grocery shopping amid coronavirus fears.
According to multiple sources from the financial investment and retail industries on Thursday, Kurly Inc., operator of Market Kurly, in its annual briefing to shareholders reported it raised 952.3 billion won in consolidated sales last year, up 123.5 percent from the previous year’s 425.9 billion won. The sales figure nears those of big discount stores and online shopping malls.
SSG.com, the integrated online mall of Shinsegae Group, raised 1.2 trillion won in sales last year. Lotte Mart’s sales stood at 6.8 trillion won and 10 to 15 percent of the total was from online.
Another discount store Homeplus is estimated to have reaped 1 trillion won for the 2020 fiscal year from March last year to February this year, slightly higher than Kurly.
The jump in 2020 sales comes on increased demand for online shopping for groceries to household goods amid coronavirus fears.
Coupang, one of the world’s fastest-growing e-commerce companies, also saw its revenue nearly double last year from a year ago to $11.9 billion, according to its documents submitted to the U.S. Securities and Commission ahead of IPO.
The two companies, Kurly and Coupang, are seen as strong benefiters of the pandemic that has created a new environment where consumers at home rely on e-commerce platforms for goods and services.
Kurly, meanwhile, emphasized recently that its financial situation has improved significantly to allow it to go public in the market.
Like Coupang, however, Kurly still loses money.
The online grocery service provider logged an operating loss of 116.2 billion won last year, widening from 101.2 billion won in the previous year, leading to a cumulated operating loss of 260 billion won.
Kurly, however, is optimistic as growth in operating loss as to sales isn’t high.
An unnamed official from Kurly said that it has 420 billion won in investment funds, which gives room even considering the cumulative operating loss.
Kurly is expected to give actual figures for last year’s business later this month.
Shares of Kurly soared 23.74 percent on Wednesday to 57,700 won on Seoul Exchange, an over-the-counter platform, bumping up its pre-IPO value to 1.3 trillion won.
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]