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Now public, Etsy reports a 44% sales increase and a big loss in Q1

May 20, 2015 03:34 PM
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In its first quarterly earnings report as a public company, Etsy Inc. posted a big year-over-year jump in revenue, but costs were up and losses widened in Q1.

The value of merchandise purchased on its online marketplace, or what Etsy calls GMS, or gross merchandise sales, reached $532 million during the period—a 28% increase compared with the prior year.

That growth rate suffered, Etsy says, from weaker local currencies in key international markets, which translated into lower sales when measured in U.S. dollars. About 30.5% of GMS was from international shoppers during the quarter—about the same as last year. Etsy says it aims to eventually increase the international portion to 50%.

Around 57.7% of website visits came from mobile devices during the quarter, up from 50.2% during the same period last year. 41.4% of gross merchandise sales came from mobile devices, up from 35.2%. The gap between visits and sales narrowed during the quarter thanks to improvements in its mobile apps, Etsy says.

For the period ended March 28, Etsy, ranked No. 24 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reported:

  • Total revenue of $58.5 million, a 44.4% increase compared with $40.5 million in the first quarter of 2014.
  • Marketplace revenue, or the total amount of fees Etsy takes from each sale on its website, increased 27.4% to $30.2 million from $23.7 million.
  • Seller services revenue, which includes fees an Etsy seller pays for services such as prominent placement in search results via Promoted Listings, payment processing and purchase of shipping labels, reached $27.3 million, a 72.8% jump from $15.8 million.
  • Marketing expenses increased 62.7% to $12.2 million from $7.5 million due to increased spending on Google Product Listing Ads and higher employee-related expenses.
  • The number of active sellers on Etsy increased 26.5% to 1.43 million from 1.13 million.
  • The number of active buyers increased 35.9% to 20.8 million from 15.3 million.
  • Net loss for the first quarter of $36.6 million, compared with a $500,000 net loss in the first quarter of 2014.

Etsy says the big increase in net loss stemmed from changes in its corporate structure that took effect Jan. 1, 2015. Those changes resulted in two big non-cash accounting charges: a $10.5 million provision for taxes and a currency exchange loss of $20.9 million, largely due to intercompany debt incurred related to the structure.  “Etsy's revised corporate structure was implemented to more closely align with its global operations and future expansion plans outside the U.S.,” the e-retailer said in a statement.

Etsy says it plans to increase hiring in the second quarter and spend more on marketing. The company also cautioned investors that if foreign exchange rates continue at current levels, international sales could be affected in the second quarter.

 

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