February 29, 2008, 12:00 AM

2007 revenue rises 42% at jewelry auction site Bidz.com

Net revenue at jewelry auction retailer Bidz.com rose 42% to $187.1 million for the year ended Dec. 31, as fourth-quarter net revenue increased 68% to $63.2 million, the company says. It also plans to soon launch Buyz.com as a fixed-price jewelry site.

Net revenue at jewelry online auction retailer Bidz.com Inc. rose 42% to $187.1 million for the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2007, from $131.8 the prior year, as fourth-quarter net revenue increased 68% year-over-year to $63.2 million from $37.6 million, the company says.

Net income for full-year 2007 rose 236% to $18.1 million from $5.4 million in 2006, as Q4 net income rose more than 700% to $8.2 million from $1 million.

Bidz.com, No. 86 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, attributes the growth to several factors, including increases in customer acquisitions and average order values. Building on its momentum, it plans to “roll out soon” Buyz.com as a fixed-price retail jewelry e-commerce site, including features such as diamond search and the ability to customize a ring.

In the fourth quarter, Bidz.com’s number of new buyers rose 56% to about 110,000 and its average order value rose 37% to $169, the company says. It adds that the average number of orders per day in Q4 rose by more than 18% to more than 4,400, and that its average number of items sold per day increased 31% to more than 12,700. Acquisition cost per new buyer in Q4, however, rose 42% to $51.

“Our over seven-fold increase in pre-tax income from the prior year is a testament to both the strength and wide-spread appeal of our business model,” says president and CEO David Zinberg. “The quarter marked our 16th consecutive quarter of profitability and we expect to continue this trend with increasing profitability in 2008 and beyond.”

Bidz also says it processed $1 million in sales on a single day in Q4, the first time it has reached that milestone. The company ended 2007 with $4.8 million in cash and has working capital of $31.1 million and no long-term debt, it says.

Operating expenses for the full year rose 30% to $33.5 million, but declined as a percentage of sales to 18% from 20%.

The company also plans to translate its online content into multiple languages to grow international sales.

Bidz expanded its workforce last year to 240 from 198. The company’s board of directors also reinstated as of March 1 the annual salary of $290,000 for CEO Zinberg, who voluntarily reduced his salary to $1 in August 2007.

Bidz says it expects its first-quarter 2008 revenue to rise to between $59 million and $61 million, up 32% to 36% from $44.7 million in the year-ago quarter. It notes that the Q1 guidance does not factor in any potential sales from its plans for Buyz.com or international markets.

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