Nov 18, 2022
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Farfetch GMV dips on currency effects, Russia, China woes; but company is upbeat

Nov 18, 2022

Farfetch had an unusual announcement to make with its Q3 results, as it said that gross merchandise value (GMV) actually fell in the period to the end of September.

Photo: Farfetch

GMV was down 4.9% year on year at $967.4 million, although it increased 4.2% currency-neutral. Digital platform GMV also fell 5% to $787.4 million, but again, it rose 2.6% at stable exchange rates.

And brand platform GMV declined 10.4% to $148.1 million, but would have been 4.9% higher currency-neutral.

At least overall revenue managed to rise for the company with a slim 1.9% hike to $593.4 million. However, had exchange rates been the same as this time last year, the company would have been reporting a 14.1% increase. 

It said digital platform GMV’s performance reflected “continuing headwinds from the suspension of trade in Russia, and mainland China, where regional Covid-19 restrictions continue to impact trade”. 

It also reflected a decrease in Farfetch Marketplace average order value (AOV) from $593 to $530 “due to the translation impact of the strengthening of the US dollar, as well as a decline in average selling price, which was partially offset by an increase in the number of items per order”.

But the gross profit margin was 44.9%, an increase of 160 bps, and the digital platform order contribution margin was up 580bps at  32.4%.

What this all meant for profits was an adjusted EBITDA loss of $4.1 million after a profit on the same basis of $5.3 million a year ago, primarily due to higher growth in general and administrative expenses as compared to growth in Adjusted Revenue.

And the net loss was $274.9 million after a $769.1 million profit 12 months previously.

The company didn’t seem too worried about the losses or the GMV dips. CFO Elliot Jordan said the results show Farfetch is “successfully navigating an unprecedented macro environment, with constant-currency GMV and revenue growth, significant gross margin and order contribution margin improvements year on year and the early financial benefits from our recent initiatives to rationalise our cost base, which are ongoing. Whilst we continue to manage through the current environment, we remain well capitalised to execute on our long-term vision, and I am confident we will return to profitable growth in 2023.”

And it's undeniable that the company is making progress on many fronts with losses a frequent feature of a giant business at its stage of development.

During the quarter, it continued to partner with brands on Farfetch Marketplace campaigns. These included highlighting Acne Studios AW22  collection of RTW and bags; the Marc Jacobs denim monogram launch; and Stolen Girlfriends Club focusing on men's knitwear and women's jewellery in the brand's first Farfetch media solutions partnership.

It also expanded the reach of Fashion Concierge services to help private clients source unique luxury items with the launch of Fashion Concierge On Demand.

Meanwhile its New Guards Group continued to focus on its direct-to-consumer channels “while creating culturally relevant collections”.

Ibrahim Kamara celebrated his first fashion show as Off-White’s Art & Image Director at Paris Fashion Week. Off-White also signed a three-year partnership with Italian football club AC Milan to become its Official Style & Culture Creator. Palm Angels was invited to reimagine the Moncler Maya jacket, creating a limited edition covered in optic fibres for the outdoor brand’s 70th anniversary. Meanwhile, There Was One, the first brand jointly created by New Guards and Farfetch, launched its first Unisex collection.

Farfetch has a number of physical stores (including Browns) and in-store GMV increased 35.3% to $31.9 million during the quarter. Currency-neutral this would have been a 54.1% surge, driven by additional openings of New Guards brands' stores in the last 12 months as well as strong like-for-like growth from key existing stores.

For the full year, the company is predicting a digital platform GMV decline of between 5% and 7% and brand platform GMV to be broadly flat.

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