India’s largest e-commerce player Flipkart, has come out with financial numbers for the fiscal year ending 2019 for its India business. And the numbers do not look promising.
Flipkart operates via two entities in India, its wholesale arm, called “Flipkart India” and its retail arm called “Flipkart Internet”. Flipkart India, the wholesale arm of Flipkart, reported ₹30,930 crore in revenue for the fiscal year 2019, a 43% jump from last year. Now while that revenue jump seems sharp and promising, its the losses that continue to burden down the Walmart owned ecommerce player. The company reported that its net loss increased 85% to ₹3,385 crore during the same fiscal.
Numbers from the company’s Singapore holding company — which will be effectively consolidated group numbers — are yet to be filed.
Multiple factors are in place for the rising losses. For one, a lot of stock was repurchased from the company employees, making them millionaires in the process and accumulating losses for the company. Additionally, Indian Government kicked in the controversial e-commerce guidelines in Feb-March this year, barring online marketplaces and their group companies from owning vendors and also prohibited them from controlling the inventory sold on their platforms.
Coming to the company’s retail arm, Flipkart Internet too reported a steep rise in both revenues and losses. While losses rose by over 40% to ₹1,624 crore for the year ending March 31, 2019, operating revenues increase by 51% to ₹4,234 crore. Again, employee stock repurchases was a major contributor to losses along with massive advertising push. The latter has been pretty evident across media, with the biggest names from Indian film industry signing in to Flipkart for its discount campaigns.
Major chunk of the revenue for Flipkart Internet comes in via ancillary services like collection, marketplace, storage and logistics. Employee costs, including salaries and ESOPs, rose 91% to ₹1,889 crore, according to the filing.
According to Economic Times, in the recent months, the ecommerce giant has rolled out stock options to employees and also bought back vested shares after Walmart’s acquisition of the homegrown online commerce firm. Walmart had acquired a 77% stake in the company for $16 billion last year.