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Coupang deliver record-breaking revenue of W4.7tr in Q1

South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang posted a record-breaking 4.7 trillion won ($4.2 billion) in revenue during the first quarter of this year as the business continues to grow in size but its operating loss nearly doubled due to an increase in operating and administrative costs.

According to the firm’s earnings report, revenue was up 74 percent compared to one year ago, its biggest Q1 sales figure to date.

“We ended the quarter with 16 million active customers, a 21 percent year-on-year increase, reflecting a high customer retention rate and new customer additions,” the company trading on the New York Stock Exchange said on Wednesday.

Its operating loss rose to 330 billion won ($295 million), a 180 percent increase from the same time one year ago.

The jump in operating, general and administrative costs in the first quarter includes total equity-based compensation expense of $87 million, in part due to $66 million in costs related to the expensing of equity awards in line with the company’s initial public offering earlier this year, the company explained.

Coupang has seen its sales grow consistently over the last few years. The figure reached 2.6 trillion won in 2017 and 4.3 trillion won in 2018 before it jumped to 7.1 trillion won in 2019 and 13.9 trillion won in 2020.

“Our strong 2021 first quarter results show that we are making meaningful progress towards that goal,” CEO and founder Kim Bom-suk said.

According to industry tracker WiseApp’s latest estimate, the total transaction volume on Coupang and its food delivery service Coupang Eats reached 2.7 trillion won during the month of April alone, with one shopper spending 144,510 won on average.

By Yim Hyun-su (