Polish e-commerce platform Allegro reported a net profit of 270 million PLN in the first quarter of this year, slightly higher than analysts' forecast (234 million PLN).
The company said the corona-related lockdown had forced people to stay at home, and that demand for a safer way to shop was driving online sales, which rose 61% to 1.21 billion zlotys in the first quarter of this year.
But as more Poles get vaccinated and some choose to shop in brick-and-mortar stores, online sales are expected to be volatile and slow this year, with full-year sales growth expected to be less than 30%. But Allegro hopes to retain customers with cheap and free delivery and a wide range of products.
It is reported that Allegro is the most popular e-commerce platform in Poland. Founded by Poles themselves in 1999, 75% of Poles know the website. The brand recognition of Allegro is as high as 98% in Poland, which is called the Polish version of eBay. More than 1.2 million products are sold daily on Allegro's platform, 90% of which are new.
Moreover, Poland's e-commerce market has huge potential. According to a recent report by consulting firm PwC, sales in Poland's e-shopping market reached about 83 billion zlotys last year, up 36% from 2019. That was 14% of all retail sales in Poland last year. Moreover, Poland's e-commerce market is now expected to grow at an average annual rate of 12 % to reach 162 billion zlotys (36 billion euros) by 2026.
It is precisely because of the broad prospect of Poland's e-commerce market that many e-commerce platforms have been attracted. E-commerce giant Amazon, not to be outdone, established Amazon.pl site early and built parcel storage lockers everywhere. Allegro is facing increasingly fierce competition. However, the company played down the risk, saying it had not been influenced too much by Amazon.
According to a report by market research firm Gemius, 80% of respondents regard Allegro as their preferred platform for e-commerce shopping.
Jon Eastick, Chief Financial Officer of Allegro, also revealed: "We plan to expand internationally through potential acquisitions. Going international is an important expansion path for Allegro. We are interested in finding and acquiring business projects that are beneficial to us and we regularly analyze such projects."
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