Groupon revenues rise 23%, volumes up 79% in Q2; moves COO Kal Raman as CEO of Asia-Pacific


Groupon-logoNASDAQ-listed deals & vouchers site Groupon has reported 23 per cent rise in revenues for the second quarter ended June 30, 2014, to $751.6 million over the year-ago period led by growth outside North America.

North America revenue increased 12 per cent while Europe, Middle East & Africa or EMEA saw 42 per cent growth and rest of the world (ROTW), which includes India, increased 40 per cent.

Gross billings, which reflect the total dollar value of customer purchases of goods and services, excluding applicable taxes and net of estimated refunds, increased 29 per cent globally to $1.82 billion in the second quarter 2014. North America billings increased 12 per cent, EMEA was approximately flat but ROTW increased 145 per cent, driven by the first-quarter acquisition of Ticket Monster.


Its gross profit was $389.9 million in the second quarter 2014, compared with $384.7 million in the second quarter 2013. Adjusted earnings before interest tax depreciation amortisation (EBITDA) was $59.1 million in the second quarter 2014, compared with $80.5 million in the second quarter of 2013, reflecting expenses related to the Ticket Monster and ideeli acquisitions, as well as an increase in overall marketing expense. Second quarter 2014 net loss was $22.9 million.

"Our marketplace continues to gain traction and add to our growth; we reached another all-time high in mobile, and with the launch of Gnome, we believe we're making great strides in connecting local commerce," Eric Lefkofsky, CEO of Groupon.

It expects $720 million to $770 million revenue in the third quarter of 2014. Groupon has revised its full year outlook, and now expects adjusted EBITDA to exceed $270 million.


Operational Highlights

Units: Global units, defined as vouchers and products sold before cancellations and refunds, increased 79 per cent year-over-year to 83 million in the second quarter 2014. North America units increased 8 per cent; EMEA units rose 10 per cent and ROTW units surged 342 per cent.

Active deals: At the end of the second quarter 2014, on average, active deals were over 240,000 globally, compared with more than 200,000 at the end of the first quarter 2014. North American active deals increased to over 105,000.


Active customers: Active customers, or customers that have purchased a voucher or product within the last 12 months, grew 25 per cent year over year, to 53.2 million as of June 30, 2014, comprising 22.6 million in North America, 14.5 million in EMEA, and 16.1 million in ROTW.

Customer spend: Second quarter 2014 trailing 12-month billings per average active customer was $137, compared with $132 in the first quarter 2014.

Mobile: Mobile mix, as measured by transactions completed on mobile devices, remains over half of the business, and reached another all-time high in June 2014. Nearly 92 million people have now downloaded Groupon mobile apps worldwide.


Marketplace: The rollout of Groupon's marketplace continued to gain traction. In June 2014, approximately 10 per cent of total customers in North America searched, with customers who searched spending significantly more than those who did not.

ROTW: Rest of the world billings grew 145 per cent in the second quarter 2014. As a result of the growth and overall progress, Kal Raman is transitioning from COO to assume a new role as CEO of the Asia Pacific region, allowing him to focus on unlocking value for the company's high-growth Asian markets.

Groupon had appointed Kal Raman as its COO in late 2012 at a time when it was facing hiccups in expanding its business overseas. Raman, a 20-year veteran in technology and retail business, is an alumnus of Guindy Engineering College, Chennai, and was previously Groupon's senior vice-president, global sales and operations.


He had joined the firm in April 2012 and was overseeing the company's global sales and operations.

Previously, Raman worked as Vice President of Global Fulfillment at eBay. Before that, he served as CEO of GlobalScholar, a leader in enterprise software to K-12 public schools. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President at Amazon, responsible for driving its global non-media business for retailers and sellers. He also led Amazon's retail technology and marketing units.

Before joining Amazon, Raman was CEO of drugstore.com where he joined as CIO. He also held several management roles at Wal-Mart.


(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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