Catch Group reveals solid Q1 results

catch group newCatch Group continues to gain momentum with strong top-line growth and over a million active customers as at September 30.

The online retailer released its trading results for the first quarter of fiscal 2019 on Monday, revealing a 72.9 per cent increase in overall gross transaction value (GTV) to $99.39 million, up from $57.49 million in the previous corresponding period.

The bulk of the growth was driven by Catch’s marketplace offering, which facilitated $33.85 million in transactions in Q1 FY19, roughly one year after launching in June 2017. This represents an 843 per cent year-on-year increase in GTV, admittedly from a low base in the previous corresponding period.

The marketplace offers more than 1.9 million SKUs from over 950 third-party sellers, including Tarocash, Ezibuy and Alannah Hill.

Catch’s sales of its core in-stock offering, end-of-line ranges from big-name brands that are sold at steep discount, increased 21.6 per cent year-on-year to $65.54 million, up from  $53.9 million in the previous corresponding period.

The company had 1.2 million active customers at the end of Q1, up 50 per cent from the 800,000 active customers it had in the same quarter last year.

Flexing its muscles

Catch Group’s CEO and managing director Nati Harpaz credited the company’s growth to its expanding range.

“I’m extremely proud of the strong financial and operational results that the team here at Catch Group have delivered this quarter. Our ability to offer in-demand products across a wide range of categories from highly sought-after brands at great prices, continues to attract and retain customers,” he said.

Last month, the company announced it had secured a new 22,000sqm warehouse close to its current facilities in Truganina, Melbourne, to provide additional capacity needed for the next five years of expected growth.

“With over 100 million annual website and app visits, the addition of a new warehouse will allow us to continue to capitalise on this potential growth,” Harpaz said.

The results come less than a week after fellow online-only retailer Kogan.com disappointed investors with a 27.4 per cent year-on-year drop in revenue from sales of global brands for the quarter.

But unlike Kogan.com, Catch was not impacted by the new GST law that went into effect on July 1, closing a loophole that allowed retailers to avoid collecting and remitting GST on imports valued at under $1000.

While Kogan.com rose to prominence thanks to its low prices on items like the Apple iPhone, which it shipped to customers from overseas warehouses, exploiting the loophole, Catch has always shipped stock from its Melbourne warehouse.

But while the two businesses are often compared, they are not true competitors. Kogan.com plays more squarely in the consumer electronics and small appliances space, drawing a more male-centric audience, while Catch offers a wider range of items, including many household goods, and appeals to a female customer shopping for the whole family.

Still, the results offer Catch an opportunity to flex its muscles at a time when it is widely believed to be pursuing an IPO. However, this is not expected to occur until next year, or when market conditions improve.

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