(Yicai Global) May 26 -- Chinese online services platform Meituan returned to profit in the first quarter of the year, with revenue surpassing market expectations, thanks to a “strong recovery” in consumption, its chief executive officer said.
Net profit was CNY3.4 billion (USD481 million) in the three months ended March 31, versus a net loss of CNY5.7 billion a year earlier, the Shenzhen-based firm announced yesterday. Revenue grew by a better-than-expected 26.7 percent to CNY58.6 billion (USD8.3 billion).
Meituan’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization and adjusted net profit soared to a record CNY6.3 billion and CNY5.5 billion, respectively.
“During the quarter, the company saw healthy growth in all of its businesses, thanks to a strong recovery in local consumption,” co-founder and Chief Executive Wang Xing said in a press release. “Meituan has witnessed the resilience of the domestic economy and the gigantic potential of consumption.”
Meituan’s core local commerce segment, which includes food and beverage takeaway, flash sales, and in-store, hotel, and travel businesses, reported CNY42.9 billion in revenue, up 26 percent. Its net profit doubled to CNY9.4 billion.
Revenue from delivery services was CNY16.9 billion, that from commissions CNY15.8 billion, and that from online marketing services CNY7.7 billion. The number of on-demand delivery transactions rose 14.9 percent.
Meituan’s revenue from the new initiatives segment climbed 30 percent to CNY15.7 billion in the first quarter from a year ago, with operating loss narrowing 41 percent to CNY5 billion.
Artificial intelligence could have a fundamental impact on all aspects of society in the long run, so Meituan is researching and developing underlying models and applications in the field of AI large language models, Wang said on the firm’s earnings conference call.
“Here at Meituan, we are very excited about AI,” he said. “We believe AI is going to change almost everything. It's definitely bigger than the iPhone or the internet, and that's saying a lot.”
The company is open to external technologies and investment opportunities, Wang added.
Meituan [HKG: 3690] fell 3.4 percent to HKD126 (USD16.09) yesterday. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is closed for a public holiday today.
Editor: Futura Costaglione