May 6, 2014, 4:57 PM

Groupon’s physical goods sales soar 68%

The retailer continues to evolve from a daily-deal provider to a more traditional e-commerce merchant that sells physical goods.

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Groupon Inc. continues to pivot away from its daily-deal provider roots to a full-fledged online retailer and marketplace.

The retailer, No. 44 in the Internet Retailer 2014 Top 500 Guide, reported today that its revenue jumped 26.0% in the first quarter, while it had a $37.8 million net loss. Its revenue from the sale of physical products through its Groupon Goods division, however, increased more substantially on a percentage basis, growing 68.4% from the first quarter of 2013. Groupon Goods generated $386.2 million in sales during the quarter, accounting for 51% of company-wide revenue.

“We had a record quarter in terms of demand, with worldwide billings increasing 29% and reaching their highest level ever,” says Eric Lefkofsky, Groupon’s CEO. “Our marketplace continued to gain traction, and growth in our mobile business accelerated.”

Groupon says that in March, 54% of its transactions were completed on mobile devices. More than 80 million consumers have downloaded Groupon mobile apps worldwide, the company says, with more than 10 million downloads in the first quarter alone.

For the first quarter ended March 31, Groupon reported:

• Revenue increased 26.0% to $757.6 million, compared with $601.4 million in 2013.

• North American revenue of $431.1 million, up 26.9% from $339.6 million a year earlier.

• International sales of $324.6 million, a 23.4% gain from $263.0 million in 2013.

• Revenue for Groupon Goods of $386.2 million, up 68.4% compared with $229.4 million a year earlier.

• Operating loss, which excludes stock compensation and acquisition-related costs, of $20.0 million compared to a $21.2 million gain in 2013.

• A net loss of $37.8 million, compared with a loss of $3.2 million a year earlier.

• Gross billings, which reflects the total amount consumers paid for Groupon vouchers, excluding applicable taxes and refunds, stood at $1.817 billion, a 29.0% increase from $1.408 billion in 2012.

Groupon says the average amount a customer spent in the first quarter fell to $147 from $151 a year earlier. 

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