Even though B2B e-commerce platform IndiaMART increased its profits in the June quarter over the last quarter, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on it is clear: Cash generated from operations dipped a whopping 97% in June, compared to March, and collections from customers fell by 54% in the June quarter as opposed to the last quarter. Paying subscribers in June reduced by more than 9% compared to the last quarter. The company also saw a 10% decline in its revenue in the June quarter — a period where the entire country was essentially under a lockdown  — compared to the March quarter.

IndiaMART said that the COVID-19 pandemic threw four particular challenges onto its path: that of employee safety, business mortality, business continuity, and a fall in demand. The pandemic also resulted in a customer attrition of around 10% in the June quarter. Incidentally, the company’s CEO and MD, Dinesh Agarwal, in the last quarter, had predicted that 10% to 20% of IndiaMART’s subscriber base could be “severely impacted”, owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

The company reduced its operating expenses in the June quarter amounting to Rs 80 crore, compared to Rs 118 crore in the previous quarter. Its income at Rs 187 crore in the June quarter was the same as it was in the March quarter. Net profit however, increased 37% QoQ to Rs 74 crore in June, compared to Rs 44 crore in March.

“I am pleased to report a modest financial performance this quarter as the ongoing adverse market conditions had an anticipated impact on our customers, revenue, deferred revenue and cashflow from operations. While we managed to improve profitability due to cost optimization measures, our focus remained to stand by our employees and customers during these testing times,” Agarwal said in a statement.

QoQ revenue, paying subscribers went downhill

Consolidated revenue in the June quarter decreased to Rs 153 crore as opposed to Rs 170 crore in the March quarter — a decline of around 10%. However, revenue in the June quarter increased compared to the same quarter last year, when the company had posted a revenue of Rs 147 crore.

Cash generated from operations depleted: There was a massive reduction of 97% in the amount of cash the company generated from its operations in June, where the company generated Rs 3 crore, as opposed to Rs 94 crore in the March quarter.

Collections from customers down: Collections from customers also fell significantly in the June quarter — by 54% compared to March. In March the company had collected Rs 206 crore from its customers, but in the June quarter it could only manage a collection of Rs 96 crore.

  • The company said that monthly collection from customers at the June was at two thirds of pre lockdown levels.

Paying subscribers reduced: Number of paying subscribers fell from 147,000 in March to 133,000 in the June quarter — a decrease of more than 9.5%. This is not good news for a company which says that 95% of its operations’ revenue comes from subscription.

Source: IndiaMART presentation

Annualised revenue per paying subscriber — which represents operations’ revenue the period divided by paying subscription suppliers at period end — increased slightly over last quarter amounting to Rs 45,500 in June as opposed to Rs 45,000 in March.

Registered buyers on the site increased, so did traffic: Number of registered buyers on the platform increased increased by around 5% QoQ with 107 million registered buyers at the end of June. Traffic on the website in June was 191 million compared to 180 million in March, a QoQ growth of a little over 6%. The company defines as the number of visits done on the desktop website, mobile website and mobile application of the company. Around 82% of the traffic came via mobile.

  • Live product listings also increased very marginally from 67 million in the March quarter to 68 million in the June quarter.

More ‘unique business enquiries’ in June: 20 million “unique business enquiries” were made in the June quarter, compared to 18 million in the March quarter, the company said. “We consider a buyer posting an enquiry at least once as one unique buyer for that day. If the same buyer post[s] another enquiry on a different day, he is considered as another different unique buyer,” it clarified.

Reduction in workforce: The company saw a reduced workforce in June with 3,690 sales and service representatives in the quarter, compared to 3,929 sales and service reps in the March quarter — meaning that during the lockdown period, the company’s workforce decreased by around 6%. Total sales and service representatives include both outsourced and employees that are on the company’s payroll, however, it appears that this reduction came from the former, since the company claimed that it did not lay off any “employee”.

IndiaMART results for Q1FY20

  • Consolidated revenue: Rs 153 crore (down 10% QoQ, up 4% YoY)
  • Total income: Rs 187 crore (same as last quarter, up 16% YoY)
  • Net profit: Rs 74 crore (up 44% QoQ, up 129% YoY)
  • Paying subscribers: 133,000 (down 9.5% QoQ, up 0.5% YoY)

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