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E-commerce giant Coupang logs record sales in Q1

South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang Inc. (Yonhap)
South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang Inc. (Yonhap)
South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang Inc. said Wednesday its first-quarter sales hit a new high, but operating losses widened sharply due to increased costs and investment.

Sales stood at $4.21 billion in the January-March period, up 74 percent from a year earlier, Coupang said in a regulatory filing.

The figure was the largest top line for the first quarter, the New York-listed company said.

Yet Coupang registered an operating loss of $295 million for the last quarter, up a whopping 180 percent from a year earlier.

The huge loss was blamed on a one-time stock compensation cost of $87 million and a rise in general administrative costs stemming from increased hiring and investment.

Coupang said its active customers, or those who have bought goods through the company at least once in the first quarter, came to 16.03 million in the first three months of the year, up some 1.2 million from the last quarter.

Spending per one active customer amounted to $262 for the three-month period, up 44 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Shares in Coupang closed at $35.33 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday, down 2.54 percent from the previous session. Coupang's results were announced after the market closed.

Coupang made its landmark debut on the New York stock market in March this year in an effort to boost its global presence. (Yonhap)