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Rocket Internet startups see revenue jump, losses grow

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - 15:26
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German e-commerce investor Rocket Internet saw first-half sales continue to grow strongly at several of its leading start-ups although they kept bleeding cash.

[BERLIN] German e-commerce investor Rocket Internet saw first-half sales continue to grow strongly at several of its leading start-ups although they kept bleeding cash.

Europe's largest Internet company, founded in 2007, is viewed as a potential launch pad for future stock market listings from online fashion to food delivery although several mooted initial public offerings have been put on ice recently.

Rocket Internet said in a statement its top startups, which it dubs "proven winners", had seen their average operating margin rise 6 percentage points in the first half, although they all continued to make hefty losses.

The Berlin-based group said its portfolio value had increased by 3.4 billion euros (S$5.43 billion) since its listing in Frankfurt last October, in part due to a recent financing round that lifted the value of online ingredients delivery firm HelloFresh.

Rocket Internet has seen its shares slump since it listed last year after it tapped investors for more cash to plough into online takeaway food and grocery delivery start-ups.

First-half revenues for the Global Fashion Group, which incorporates five online fashion firms in emerging markets, rose 63 per cent to 418.2 million euros, while the operating margin improved slightly to a negative 36.1 percent from 37.4 per cent a year ago.

Furniture websites Home24 and Westwing, both seen as eventual IPO candidates, saw revenue rise 98 per cent to 117.6 million euros and 48 per cent to 108.8 million euros respectively, while their operating margins deteriorated, to negative 31.7 per cent for both firms.

REUTERS