Jumia is optimistic of COVID-19 boost, despite poor Q1 2020 earnings report

Jumia Technologies released its first-quarter 2020 earnings report earlier today, and it was unimpressive.

This notwithstanding, the company said it is optimistic that the COVID-19 situation has presented an opportunity for growth. This comes as more people across the markets where the company operates (including Nigeria) are now resorting to e-commerce for safer shopping amid the virus scare.

The financial statement showed that revenue for the period declined by 6.9%  to €29.2 million, down from €31.4 million in Q1 2019. Similarly, Jumia’s EBITDA for the period (i.e., Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) dropped to €35.6 million. This marks a 9.8% decline when compared to EBITDA of  €39.5 million in Q1 2019. The company also reported a loss of €42.2 million according to the financial statement which was seen by Nairametrics.

Note that the financial report covers the month of March, which marked the onset of the pandemic in countries like Nigeria where Jumia operates. Unfortunately, the e-commerce giant said it could not fully take advantage of the situation due to disruptions in its supply chain. Note that a sizable portion of the goods sold on Jumia is supplied from China.

Meanwhile, Jumia is still optimistic that it can take advantage of the pandemic to grow. Reuters quoted one of the company’s founders (Sacha Poignonnec) as saying this during an earnings call earlier today:

We are seeing unprecedented demand to join the Jumia platform, especially for named brands. We believe those dynamics will help accelerate the shift toward online.”

Recall that Jumia made history last year when it listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Its market capitalisation was valued at some $1.5 billion as of August last year. But the honeymoon phase for the stock soon faded away when the e-commerce company was rocked by fraud allegations.

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