GIC-backed Bukalapak posts sales jump in first report since record IPO

Indonesian e-commerce operator posted a 35 per cent rise in first-half revenue to $81 million. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - Indonesian e-commerce operator posted a 35 per cent increase in first-half revenue and narrowed losses in the debut report since its initial public offering (IPO), driven by surging demand for online shopping as the coronavirus raged.

Revenue rose to 864 billion rupiah (S$81 million) as transactions processed reached almost US$4 billion (S$5.4 billion), the Jakarta-based company said on Tuesday (Aug 31). Net loss shrank to 766 billion rupiah from 1.03 trillion rupiah a year earlier as the company reduced expenses.

Bukalapak, which in Bahasa Indonesia means opening a kiosk in the market, counts Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, Microsoft and Mr Jack Ma's Ant Group among its backers.

It went public last month after raising US$1.5 billion in Indonesia's biggest-ever IPO. The share price has fluctuated since as investors gauged the company's prospects in South-east Asia's rapidly expanding but competitive e-commerce market.

The stock surged 25 per cent on the first trading day, though it has pared gains since and was little changed at 940 rupiah in early Wednesday trading, leaving it 11 per cent above the 850 rupiah IPO price.

The company operates two key business units: Bukalapak Marketplace connects buyers and sellers, while Mitra Bukalapak serves mom-and-pop kiosks known as warungs.

This year's total processing value is set to reach about US$9 billion, president Teddy Oetomo said during a conference call on Tuesday evening from Jakarta.

"Indonesia offers a strong growth momentum," Mr Teddy said, adding he thinks the company's valuation is "still at an attractive level".

Analysts are bullish too, with all nine tracked by Bloomberg recommending buying Bukalapak shares.

Using the Mitra Bukalapak app, shop owners can order instant noodles and other goods when their inventory gets low, all delivered to their doorsteps. The Mitra platform also allows them to help customers without access to Internet and banking services to pay electricity bills and send money digitally.

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