(Yicai Global) Dec. 24 -- Chinese coffeehouse chain Luckin Coffee, the recipient of a USD180 million fine from US regulators last week for its massive bookkeeping fraud, has managed to achieve a steady growth in earnings all year, despite being mired in scandal.
Revenue was up 35.8 percent in the third quarter year on year to CNY1.1 billion (USD168.4 million), the Xiamen-based firm said in a document filed to a court in Cayman Island, where it is registered, on Dec. 17.
In fact, revenue has been on the rise all year. In the first and second quarters it was up 18.1 percent and 49.9 percent to CNY565 million and CNY980 million respectively, largely due to a greater number of customers, higher frequency of purchases, better pricing and a wider product portfolio.
Revenue for the fiscal year is likely to be between CNY3.8 billion (USD581.7 million) and CNY4.2 billion, it said.
Luckin has closed 613 of its underperforming stories since March and as of the end of November had 3,898 of its own stores and 894 partner stores. The firm is no longer focusing on rapid expansion and has instead shifted its focus to improving its profitability and cash flow, it said. It also runs a chain of 150 automatic coffee dispensers.
The firm is not yet profitable but it broke even on an overall store level for the first time in August, it said. It had CNY5.2 billion (USD796 million) in cash as of the end of November.
Luckin has a reasonable business model, said Zhu Danpeng, a researcher at the China Brand Research Institute. The company’s daily operations will not be a problem despite the bigger uncertainties.
Luckin confessed in April that its chief operations officer had tacked CNY2.2 billion (USD336 million) onto its 2019 sales figure. The Xiamen-based firm was booted off the Nasdaq exchange on June 29, ending a 400-day listing, at a stock price of USD1.38, 90 percent of its issue price.
Editor: Kim Taylor