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When Jumia’s successes compel naysayers to change their positions

Despite the negative reports and the challenges, the managers of the Jumia were undaunted and focused on their business model tenaciously.

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In May 2019, Citron Research, one of the longest-running online stock commentary websites with a track record of identifying fraud and terminal business models, published a damning report on Jumia Technologies, a Berlin-based e-commerce company operating in Africa. In the much-discredited report, Andrew Left, the founder of the research company and a professional short seller, levelled a number of allegations against Africa’s leading e-commerce platform, which included financial discrepancies, fraudulent orders and company inefficiencies.

Also, a few weeks to the release of Jumia’s Q1 reports in August, 2020 Left published another report questioning the information presented in Jumia’s prospectus published on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and asking the SEC to delist Jumia’s stock. These negative reports dealt a heavy blow on the once-promising prospects of the company – Jumia’s stock price, which rose from $14.50 per share to $50 weeks after placement,  crashed by more than half to $21; investors became agitated and threatened class-action lawsuits against Jumia; employees became agitated as they didn’t know what to believe; and brand partners and sellers on Jumia began to withdraw their merchandise from the platform.

The company’s stock performance continued this downward slope throughout the financial year, trading for as low as $2.15 per share at the end of trading on 18 March, 2020. This situation seemed to justify Andrew Left and his Citron Research co-travellers as well as other naysayers to the Jumia’s business prospects. What these naysayers to the Jumia operations have in common is a less than full appreciation of the Jumia’s market. Their analyses of the company came heavily from the information they derived from the European and American markets.

One thing to be noted here is that, while these off-shore analysts saw doom, owing to their inapplicable data, Jumia’s management, led by Jeremy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec, armed with superior data from Africa market – huge population, youthful composition, growing internet penetration etc – saw good prospects for Jumia’s business. Despite the negative reports and the challenges they posed for the company, the managers of the Jumia were undaunted and focused on their business model tenaciously. When it seemed that the worst is yet to come, their tenacity and business acumen started yielding fruits. The downward slide of the stock price, not only stopped, but went into reverse gear, rising up to $18.03 per share at the end of trading on 26 October, 2020, up 17 percent in the last five days and more than 165 percent year-to-date.

The new business reality of the company came to the naysayers, who all awaited a tragic news concerning the company, as a huge shock. Apart from the rebounding stock price, the company is recording positives in almost all performance indices in the year 2020. In the Quarter 3 financial results released on 10 November, 2020, Jumia’s gross profit was €23.2 million ($27.3 million), a year-over-year increase of 22 percent. Jumia’s gross profit after fulfilment expense reached €6.6 million, compared to a loss of €1.7 million in the third quarter of 2019, marking the first time that the Jumia Group scored a positive in its gross profit after fulfilment and advertising expenses.

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The number of annual active consumers on its platform was 6.7 million, up 23 percent year-over-year. However, orders fell to 6.6 million, down 5 percent year-over-year on the back of a 20 percent decrease in digital services transactions on the JumiaPay app, while orders on the rest of the platform were stable. Jumia’s payment platform, JumiaPay continued its stellar growth recording a total payment value €48 million, a year-over-year increase of 50 percent.

Explaining the Q3 2020 performance, the management of Jumia said, “We are making significant progress on our path to profitability with Adjusted EBITDA loss in the third quarter of 2020 decreasing by 50 percent year-over-year. The significant progress achieved was mostly attributable to the thorough work we have done on the fundamentals of our business, with limited support from external factors such as COVID-19.”

These current realities compelled Citron Research to go from bearish to bullish on Jumia Technologies, citing Jumia’s change in its business which saw a higher adoption of the e-commerce service delivery due to the pandemic. This adoption, according to Citron Research, is helping Jumia Technologies head for profitability in Africa’s emerging market.

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According to its report, Citron Research says that Jumia Technologies is the only scaled e-commerce player in Africa, shipping about 20 million packages a year to cities and rural areas across eleven countries in the continent. “Jumia’s positioning in Africa alone (e.g., logistics, technology, employees, brand) should be worth minimum $7 billion or $100 per share.”

Citing Africa’s population of 1.3 billion people, with over 520 million internet users, Citron said, “either these young Nigerians, who make up to 60 percent of the entire population, will be the first people on earth to not accept e-commerce or the stock is going to $100.” The report buttressed this position quoting Patrick Collison, CEO of Stripe, who opined that “there is enormous opportunity. In absolute numbers, Africa may be smaller right now than other regions, but online commerce will grow about 30 percent every year.”

The Citron Report further contemplated that, with the current business reality of Jumia Technologies, Alibaba and Softbank as companies that could be interested in becoming a strategic partner or investor in Jumia in order to provide a “direct channel for Chinese goods into the African market.”

NM Partners represent articles published in paid partnerships with corporate organisations. They include press releases, targeted content, and other forms of corporate communications on behalf of our Paid Partners.

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Ikeja Electric bags Most Philanthropic Disco award

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Ikeja Electric signs pact with Onigbongbo Residents Association

Ikeja Electric Plc (IE), Nigeria’s biggest Electricity Distribution Company has been adjudged the 2020 Philanthropic Electricity Distribution Company of the Year, at an Award Ceremony organized by CSR Reporters, a specialized news publication with concentration on how organizations and well-meaning individuals are giving back to the society.

According to the organizers, the award was given in recognition of IE efforts to give back to the society in which it operates. The citation read that Ikeja Electric was selected because it demonstrated integrity and transparency while engaging in several corporate social responsibility interventions in 2020.

“As you may know, many other companies were also nominated and because of the high caliber of the nominees, the Selection Committee deliberated long hours and gave careful consideration to all of them. Ikeja Electric stood out as a leader who exemplifies dedication to CSR,” the organizers said.

While thanking the organizers for the recognition, IE’s Head of Corporate Communications Felix Ofulue reiterated the company’s commitment to continue giving back to host communities through its Personal-Corporate Social Responsibility (P-CSR) interventions.

According to him: “We will continue to intensify efforts to make meaningful in the lives of the people and the society. Our P-CSR platform enables the company and employees to carry out charitable activities aimed at making considerable impact on the different levels of the society. Under the P-CSR programme, we also have a Volunteer Scheme (EVS) which enables our employees to voluntarily contribute their time and resources towards the wellbeing of the communities in which we operate. These goodwill activities further corroborate our commitment to touching lives in the environment where the company operates. No doubt, this will further strengthen the trust and mutual relationship between the company and communities.”

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He also urged the CSR Reporters to increase awareness in CSR activities as it will encourage other companies to recognize and contribute immensely to the development of communities where they operate.

In the recent past, Ikeja Electric has been carry out sustainable CSR initiatives, aimed at enhancing the quality of lives, in the key areas of Youth Empowerment, Healy and Primary Education

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Here’s why Leadway Pensure PFA should manage your Retirement Savings Account

With several pension fund administrators to pick from, here are 4 reasons why Leadway Pensure PFA Limited should be your first choice.

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Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders with Leadway Pensure have every reason to smile as the firm continues to deliver excellent customer service and more importantly, high yield on investments.

In October, for instance, all RSA funds across multiple investments in the company outperformed their stipulated benchmarks. RSA I had 32% annualized return against a 25% benchmark; RSA II returned 25% against a 23% benchmark; RSA III returned 20% against a 15% benchmark, and RSA IV returned 18% against a 9% benchmark. This is really impressive, especially during this time of economic uncertainties.

Interestingly, the National Pension Commission has just opened the transfer window for RSA holders to freely transfer from their existing PFA to another one.

This transfer between PFAs can only happen once a year and is designed to help RSA holders assert the right to choose a Pension Fund Administrator with excellent service delivery and great returns.

What this signals is that there is absolutely no reason to keep a fund manager that does not offer competitive returns or does not give you a wholesome pension experience.

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With several pension fund administrators to pick from, however, it could be daunting deciding on which administrator to go with. You need not be flustered!

Here are 4 reasons why Leadway Pensure PFA Limited should be your first choice.

  • Brand Heritage – Leadway Pensure is part of the Leadway Group, a strong brand that has led the non-banking financial sector for 50 years. You see? Track record is top notch! Beyond that, Leadway Pensure is one of the most capitalized PFA’s in Nigeria with an authorized share capital of N2.0 Billion and shareholder’s fund in excess of N4.0 Billion, unimpaired by losses.
  • Competitive Returns – Leadway Pensure has consistently delivered returns above the inflation rate, thereby preserving the wealth of its customers. If you care about the returns on your investments, then Leadway Pensure is the right place to be
  • Customer Service – Leadway Pensure has won the best PFA in customer service back to back. Talk about excellent service delivery? Simply unrivaled!
  • Accessibility – Online Enrolment Portal, Mobile App, Interactive SMS, Pensure Online (P-Online), SureCal (Pensure Calculator) are all platforms that give you transparent access to your funds and your manager.

With Leadway Pensure PFA, you are assured of returns on investment and value protection from economic downturn.

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Need we say more? Choose Leadway Pensure PFA – choose comfort and wealth!

Visit https://joinus.leadway-pensure.com/ to learn more about how to move your Retirement Savings Account to us.

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Visa report highlights ecommerce as key to unlocking merchant revenue growth during the festive season

According to the VCA report, most small businesses have taken bold steps to prepare for the seasonal sales activity that kicks-off with Black Friday.

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If small businesses can provide easy access to information, frictionless payments, a simple returns policy, and personalized shopping options, they are likely to have an immediate advantage in the marketplace.

This is according to Visa Consulting & Analytics (VCA) report titled Accelerating the shift to eCommerce, where 81% of customers indicated they are willing to pay more for a good customer experience.

“Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) that leverage eCommerce solutions; which provide excellent online shopping experience for consumers; have the opportunity to benefit from high spend periods like Black Friday and the coming festive season compared to businesses who have not mastered the importance of holistic back-end design of the customer journey,” says Kemi Okusanya, Vice President, Visa West Africa.

The move to increased online shopping comes on the back of most retailers driving their customers online due to different lockdown restrictions that affected in store foot traffic. Visa’s  Covid 19 Impact Tracker, released earlier this year showed that up to 68% of consumers were going to grocery stores less often. As the retail sector looks to driving recovery, the approach to periods like Black Friday has also evolved and further necessitated safer, better online payment experiences.

“The impact of a bad payment experience can be devastating. When a shopper abandons an online shopping cart due to checkout friction, the data shows that 67% end up leaving for a competitor or never complete the purchase anywhere, and 59% say they are less likely to shop with that same retailer again,” adds Okusanya.

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It’s encouraging that most small businesses (60%), according to the VCA report, have taken bold steps to prepare for the seasonal sales activity that kicks-off with Black Friday. The preparation includes changing their infrastructure and digitizing their business.

“The VCA report highlights how the payment experience is a critical touchpoint – a part of the customer journey, which requires special attention. Each time a potential customer reaches the checkout page, they have a moment to reflect on whether the effort needed to make the payment is equal to the value they get from their purchase.  To win prospective and repeat customers, SMBs need to have a digital presence during the discovery and evaluation stages of the customer shopping journey,” concludes Okusanya.

Digital payments provide a convenient and secure way to pay for customers. For businesses, they reduce the friction arising from handling money, limit customer queuing, grow their customer base as a result of enhanced experience and eventually improve sales and profitability. As online shopping becomes the norm for consumers and businesses continue on the road to economic recovery, digital payment and in particular frictionless e-commerce experiences, will become a competitive advantage for small businesses.

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About Visa Inc. 

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network – enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit About Visa, https://www.visa.com.ng/ and @VisaAfrica.

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