Merchant Innovation

Q3 Results Highlight Groupon’s Growing Pains

Q3 shaped up to be a tough quarter for Groupon – the online discount merchant turned e-retailer suffered  a loss of $21.2 million, or 3 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $2.6 million.  Revenues, however, were on the upswing – Groupon saw  revenue jump up 27 percent to $757.1 million.

The company also saw its number of active consumers increase by 24 percent to 52.7 million.  Active customers are defined as those who have purchase a voucher or product within the last 12 monhts.

Gross billings climbed 39 pecrcent to $1.86 billion in the third quarter, they also doubled to $597 million outside North America and Europe, the Middle East and Africa, driven in large part by South Korean acquisition Ticket Monster.

Ticket Monster, however, may soon be up for sale, despite its contributions to the company’s bottom line.

“They have a chance to be the biggest e-commerce player in Korea,” said Groupon CEO Eric Lefkofsky in an interview. Ticket Monster’s growth “has accelerated dramatically; it doesn’t seem imprudent to evaluate all the opportunities we have.”

Groupon purchased TicketMonster from LivingSocial for $260 million. Other expansion in 2014 include a tablet-based checkout register for small businesses, a listings service that competes with Yelp Inc. and a service for cash back for buying certain groceries.


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