China’s Meituan reported quarterly loss as it expands into new area

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese food delivery company Meituan reported a loss on Friday for October-December after two consecutive quarters of profit, as it expanded into the community group-buying business that relies heavily on subsidies.

It reported a loss of 2.24 billion yuan ($343 million) versus profit of 1.46 billion yuan in the same month a year earlier, the company said in a stock exchange filing.

Meituan, whose services also include restaurant reviews and bike sharing, said total revenue rose 34.7% in October-December from a year earlier to 37.92 billion yuan ($5.80 billion). That compared with the 39.17 billion yuan average of 14 analyst estimates, IBES data from Refinitiv showed.

Community group buying, which lets communities set up groups for bulk buying, is one of Meituan’s new initiatives that grew by 51.9% year-on-year in quarterly revenue to 9.24 billion yuan.

Food delivery, which accounts for over half of Meituan’s total revenue, posted revenue growth of 37.0% to 21.54 billion yuan. Its in-store, hotel and travel operation saw revenue growth of 12.2% to 7.14 billion yuan.

($1 = 6.5417 Chinese yuan renminbi)