(Yicai Global) May 23 -- The steady growth of its catering business boosted Chinese online life services provider Meituan Dianping's revenue by 70 percent to CNY19.2 billion (USD2.8 billion) in the first quarter, according to the company's financial report released today.
Meituan Dianping's sales revenue from its mainstay catering and take-out business jumped 51.7 percent to CNY10.7 billion, since multiplying take-away customers and average purchase frequency per user lifted the platform's transaction volume and its advertising revenue.
Formed in 2003 as Internet Plus Holdings, Meituan Dianping is a holding company that operates a business-to-consumer e-commerce platform. It offers such services as food and non-food deliveries, hotel and travel reservations, vouchers and ticketing, restaurant management systems and supply chains, integrated payment, micro-loans, local transport, and car-hailing and bike-sharing. It changed its name to Meituan Dianping in June.
The company's revenue from its group buying, hotel and travel segments gained 43.2 percent to CNY4.5 billion in the first quarter. Revenue from new business and other sectors including the catering supply chain, online car-hailing and shared bicycle lines soared almost fourfold to CNY4 billion.
Rising sales cost, however, led to the firm's CNY1.4 billion net loss in the first quarter. Its operating loss was CNY1.3 billion, 24.3 percent more than last year's.
Meituan Dianping's sales costs climbed 75 percent from a year earlier to CNY14.1 billion in the first quarter. Mushrooming food orders resulted in higher costs from employing more delivery staff. Increased outlays for shared bike depreciation and to hire car-hailing drivers also freighted the firm's new business lines.
Editor: Ben Armour