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Dada Nexus Limited (NASDAQ:DADA) Q3 2023 Earnings Call Transcript

Dada Nexus Limited (NASDAQ:DADA) Q3 2023 Earnings Call Transcript November 15, 2023

Operator: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for standing by for Dada's Third Quarter 2023 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. After the management's prepared remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. As a reminder, today's conference call is being recorded. I will now turn the meeting over to your host for today's call, Ms. Caroline Dong, Head of Investor Relations for Dada. Please proceed, Caroline.

Caroline Dong : Thank you, operator. Hello everyone and thank you for joining our third quarter 2023 earnings conference call. On the call today from Dada, we have Mr. Jeff Huijian He, President, and Mr. Beck Chen, CFO. Mr. He will talk about our operations and company highlights, then Mr. Chen will discuss the financials and guidance. Please kindly note that, during the Q&A session, Jeff will answer questions in Chinese, and consecutive translation will be provided. In case of any discrepancy between the original remarks and the translated version, statements in the original remarks should prevail. Before we begin, I'd like to remind you that this conference call contains forward-looking statements. Please refer to our latest Safe Harbor statement in the earnings press release on our IR website, which applies to this call.

Also, during this call, we will discuss certain non-GAAP financial measures. Please also refer to our earnings press release, which contains a reconciliation of non-GAAP measures to the comparable GAAP measures. Finally, please note that, unless otherwise stated, all figures mentioned during this conference call are in RMB. It is now my pleasure to introduce our President, Mr. He. Jeff, please go ahead.

Jeff He : Thank you, Caroline, and thank you all for joining us today. During the third quarter of 2023, Dada Group sustained its impressive top-line growth and made further gains in operating efficiency. Our total net revenues increased by 20% and adjusted net margin improved by 11 percentage points year-over-year. I will begin today's presentation with some updates on our cooperation with JD.com and our performance during the Double 11 shopping festival, followed by operating highlights from our two platforms. I will then hand over to Beck, who will take you through our detailed financial results. First, let's discuss our cooperation with JD.com. In October, Dada Group and JD.com held an on-demand retail industry conference themed, Happiness within Reach or 2% only, and unveiled a five-year action plan in boosting consumption, enabling retailers, and creating jobs.

Specifically, in the next five years, JDDJ and Dada Now aim to facilitate on-demand retail consumption of over RMB1 trillion along with our ecosystem partners, drive the digital transformation of more than 2 million brick-and-mortar stores, and cumulatively create over 10 million flexible employment opportunities. This not only demonstrates our strong confidence in the potential of on-demand retail industry, but also our commitment in shouldering social responsibility. JD.com and us will strengthen cooperation to achieve these goals. Next, I would like to provide some highlights from the recent Double 11 shopping festival. For JDDJ, peak-day GMV reached an all-time-high, and GMV throughout the promotion grew robustly, with multiple categories registering triple-digit growth, including liquor, mom-and-baby products, home furnishings and convenience stores.

For Dada Now, orders are fulfilled on the peak day hit another record high of 15 million, and total orders fulfilled reached 200 million during the promotion period. Let's move on to the operational highlights for our two platforms. Starting with JDDJ, the leading on-demand retail platform in China. In the third quarter, we continued to strengthen and expand our partnerships with retailers and brands, and further enhanced our capability in technology innovation. Starting with retailer cooperation. During the quarter, we continued to broaden and deepen our cooperation with retailers to enrich our product offerings. As of the end of September, JDDJ had onboarded more than 400,000 retail stores. In the supermarket category, we added more top supermarket chains to our platform and have now established partnerships with 93 out of the top 100 supermarket chains in China.

After we rolled out our delivery fee waiver campaign to the majority of supermarkets across the country at the end of July, we saw notable increases in user engagement, as evidenced by improvement in both retention rate and repurchase frequency among our users in supermarket category. We also made progress in our collaboration with major convenience store chains, leading to GMV generated by convenience stores on our platform growing more than 8 times year-on-year. Moving on to the consumer electronics category, in the smartphone sub-category, JDDJ participated in the launch of new Apple products for the fourth consecutive year. After the iPhone 15 series was officially launched for sale in September, sales in the first two hours increased by 250% compared to the sales during iPhone 14 debut.

In addition, Android brands such as Xiaomi, OPPO, and OnePlus also saw rapid growth in the third quarter. For the computer and accessories sub-category, GMV increased by 60% year-on-year. This growth was attributable to our support for new brands, weekend marketing events, and our efforts to explore diverse shopping scenarios. Notably, brands such as Dell, Xiaotiancai, and XGIMI experienced significant growth during the quarter. We also continued to make progress in the home appliance and home furnishing category. In the home appliance sub-category, we aim to serve diversified user needs by offering differentiated SKUs as compared with B2C channels, while offering enhanced experience of one-stop delivery and installation. In this quarter, we established new partnerships with major appliance brands such as Hisense [ph] and [Indiscernible] and newly onboarded 8,000 home appliance stores onto our platform.

As a result, GMV of home appliance merchants grew by 70% year-on-year. The home furnishing sub-category also saw rapid growth, with GMV increasing by nearly three times year-on-year. We established new partnerships with brands such as Nippon Painting Service, achieving a breakthrough in our offering of painting service. In the apparel category, we recently signed new partnerships with a number of outdoor brands including Skechers, PEAK as well as underwear brands such as Cosmo Lady, Aimer, and Hongdou, and luggage brands such as [Indiscernible]. In the third quarter, GMV of the apparel category increased more than five times year-on-year. For the liquor category, GMV more than tripled year-on-year in the third quarter, driven by our continuous efforts in improving the supplies of core SKUs. Next, let's talk about JDDJ's progress on deepening cooperation with brands.

An aerial view of a bustling urban center with delivery vehicles crisscrossing the streets.
An aerial view of a bustling urban center with delivery vehicles crisscrossing the streets.

As a pioneer and leader in O2O marketing for brands, in September, we officially launched the Double 10 Billion Brand Plan, which aims to help more than 10 brands achieve sales of more than RMB1 billion and establish a benchmark brand with sales of more than RMB10 billion on our platform in 2024. Our brand partner pool kept expanding. Recently, we formed partnerships with leading baijiu brands including Moutai and Yanghe, being the first on-demand retail platform they cooperate with. We also established new partnerships with snack food brands such as Yanjin Shop Food and dairy brands such as [Indiscernible]. We also continued to enhance our omni-channel O2O marketing collaborations with brands, helping them reach users through multiple channels both on and off JDDJ.

Starting in September, we collaborated with brands such as Quaker, OMO, and [Indiscernible] to help them enhance exposure via innovative offline campaigns such as dance competitions. On the final day of the event in Shanghai, Quaker saw a remarkable 220% year-on-year increase in sales and a 58% increase in order volume. Next, I'd like to talk about our technology innovation efforts. For retailers, our omni-channel O2O operating system Haibo continued to play an important role in improving efficiency. As of the end of September, Haibo had been deployed in nearly 12,000 stores. We recently upgraded the Haibo system's visualized stocktaking function to support additional business scenarios and make inventory counting more efficient through iterated algorithm logic.

Pilot merchants who used this upgraded function saw a 99% drop in stocktaking abnormalities. For brands, we further upgraded our marketing technology. In September, we released Hongtu, the first grid-level marketing tool for brands in the on-demand retail industry, to improve their marketing efficiency. Through B2C plus O2O omni-channel data analysis, Hongtu helps brands identify marketing opportunities grid by grid in terms of both consumer demand and their supply status, so as to make marketing campaigns more effective. At present, the Hongtu system has been adopted by 10 brands in categories such as FMCG, consumer electronics, and health and wellness. Pilot brands that used the Hongtu solution to manage marketing activities saw their conversion rate increase by 12% and average new customer acquisition cost decreased by 37%.

I will now turn to Dada Now, China's leading local on-demand delivery platform. In the third quarter, we continued to expand our delivery capacity, with quarterly active riders on the Dada Now platform increasing more than 20% year-on-year. I will first discuss our KA, or chain merchants, business. In the third quarter, the growth rate of our revenue from on-demand delivery services to KA merchants accelerated to 25% year-on-year. In particular, revenue from beverage KAs continued to grow rapidly by high double digit rate. In addition, in the restaurant KA category, we recently formed new partnerships with restaurant chains such as [Indiscernible] while strengthening cooperation with leading brands among our existing partners. Moving on to our SME and C2C business, thanks to a wider variety of service selections, the number of SME and C2C orders fulfilled in the third quarter increased by 40 year-on-year.

Lastly, an update on Dada Now's autonomous delivery service. We continue to consolidate our positioning as the largest autonomous delivery platform for supermarkets in China. To date, Dada Now's autonomous delivery open platform has fulfilled more than 200,000 on-demand delivery orders for supermarkets. That concludes our operational updates for the two platforms. To wrap up, we delivered another strong quarter of financial results, with solid growth in revenue and significant year-on-year improvement in our bottom-line. Along with the continuous improvement in business performance, we believe our model also creates unique social value. Therefore, we set forth the five-year plan surrounding consumption, digitalization and employment, which is in line with our strategy to realize healthy growth in a vibrant community consisting of consumers, retailers, brand owners, and riders.

We will continue to execute this strategy to drive sustained returns for shareholders. I will now pass the call over to Beck to go through our financials. Thank you.

Beck Chen : Thanks, Jeff. Before we go over the numbers, just a few housekeeping items in advance. We believe year-over-year comparisons are the most useful way to judge our performance. Therefore, our percentage changes I'm going to give will be on a year-over-year basis, and all figures are in renminbi unless otherwise noted. The total net revenue in the third quarter increased by 20% to RMB2.9 billion. Net revenues from Dada Now increased by 29% to RMB1.1 billion, mainly driven by the increases in order volume of intracity delivery services to chain merchants. Net revenues from JDDJ increased by 16% to RMB1.8 billion, mainly due to the increase in GMV. The increase in online marketing services revenue as a result of the increasing promotional activities also contributed to the revenue growth of JDDJ.

Moving over to the expense side. Operations and support costs were RMB2 billion. The increase was primarily due to an increase in rider cost as a result of increasing order volume for intracity delivery services provided to various chain merchants. Selling and marketing expenses decreased to RMB1 billion, primarily due to a decrease in advertising and marketing expenses and a decrease in incentives given to the JDDJ consumers. G&A expenses decreased to RMB29 million as a result of decreased amortization of corporation agreement and non-compete commitment related with the acquisition of JDDJ in 2016, which was substantially amortized as of June 30, 2023, and reduced the share-based compensation expenses as well as efficient expense control measures.

R&D expenses decreased to RMB94 million, mainly due to lower R&D professional costs as we enhance our operational efficiencies. Non-GAAP net loss attributable to ordinary shareholders of Dada was RMB9 million, a significant improvement compared with the loss of RMB270 million in the third quarter of 2022. Non-GAAP net loss margin was 0.3%, improving by 11 percentage points year-over-year. As of September 30, 2023, we had RMB4.4 billion in cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and short-term investments, achieving an increase as compared with the balance as of the end of 2022. In terms of the outlook for the fourth quarter of 2023, we expect total revenue to be between RMB3 billion and RMB3.3 billion, representing a year-over-year growth rate of 12% to 23%.

So this concludes our prepared remarks. And operator, we are now ready to begin the Q&A session. Thank you.

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