Retail in Asia


Coupang achieves strong full-year 2023 performance, offers outlook on Farfetch


South Korea’s Coupang, a prominent e-commerce company in Asia, has disclosed its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ending on December 31, 2023.

In the fiscal year, total net revenues for the company reached USD24.4 billion, marking an 18 percent year-over-year increase on a reported basis and a 20 percent increase on an FX-neutral basis. Coupang’s net income amounted to USD1.4 billion, while adjusted net income stood at USD465 million.

Known for its range of products encompassing apparel, electronics, and food items, Coupang operates primarily through its Product Commerce and Developing Offerings segments, with the former contributing significantly to revenue generation.

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“We believe that creating moments of ‘wow’ for customers across selection, price, and service form the foundation for long-term growth, profitability, and ultimately free cash flow, which serves as the basis of long-term shareholder value,” said Coupang founder Bom Kim.

Source: Coupang

Coupang is headquartered in South Korea, where it has demonstrated outstanding market share growth, surging from 5.8 percent in 2017 to 22.5 percent in 2022.

“While we are pleased with the progress we made this quarter, we see even greater opportunity in front of us, as we represent just a single digit share of the vast retail spend in Korea, and even smaller in Taiwan,” said Coupang’s CFO, Gaurav Anand.

Coupang announced its acquisition of the business and assets of online luxury platform Farfetch, a move that positions Coupang — often referred to as the Amazon of South Korea — as a frontrunner in the personal luxury goods industry. Source: Shutterstock

Also commenting on Coupang’s high-profile investment in Farfetch, Kim noted: “While we weren’t seeking an acquisition, we came across a rare opportunity to buy a sector-leading service with USD4 billion in GMV for a USD500 million investment. We hope in a few years we’ll be having the conversation about how Coupang turned Farfetch into a business that transformed the customer experience around luxury fashion, while also providing strategic value for Coupang. It’s too early for that conversation today.”

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Coupang’s founder acknowledged that though Farfetch’s potential is “not fully realised,” Coupang maintains confidence in the investment as a “prudent financial decision.”

Coupang plans to execute a “self-funding” strategy for the e-commerce platform which will require no additional investment beyond its USD500-million commitment.