Results wrap: Here's how tech platforms and brands earnings have fared in the pandemic

Get the relevant lowdown on quarterly earnings quickly: Alphabet, Facebook, Amazon, Samsung, Mondelez, Singapore Airlines, Starbucks and Visa.

Results wrap: Here's how tech platforms and brands earnings have fared in the pandemic

LUXURY BRANDS

Hermès

Its revenue halved due to the impact of coronavirus. Trying to strengthen its vertical category, Hermès acquired J3L, specialising in metal parts dedicated to leather goods and fashion accessories.

  • Net income for the first half of 2020 dropped almost 55% year-on-year to €335 million
  • Asia Pacific(exclude Japan) contributes the most for sales in the second quarter, as it reported a revenue of €582.9 million, only dropped 9.4% year-on-year
  • Americas revenue fell 73.9% to €78.3 million in Q2, the most dramatic drop among all regions
  • Sales of silk and textile dropped 60.2% to only €50.2 million in Q2
  • Sales of watches dropped the least, only 29.5% in Q2, to €33.2 million

Prada

A 40% drop in net income for the first half of 2020. E-commerce became the lifesaver for Prada, as well as the Chinese mainland, Taiwan and South Korea.

  • Total net revenues at €938 million, down 40% for the first half of 2020
  • On average 40% of Prada's retail network was closed from February to May, reaching a peak of 70% in April
  • Asia Pacific(exclude Japan) contributed €370 million in sales, the biggest among all regions
  • Strong double-digit sales growth since April in Mainland China, while South Korea and Taiwan R.O.C., showed a consistent double-digit trend throughout the period
  • Its e-commerce section had a triple-digit growth
  • The wholesale channel declined 71%, reported a sales of €91 million

LVMH

Jewellery and watch sales dropped the most for LVMH, while wine sales dropped the least among all categories. It seems that people need some "support" to get through a tough time.

  • Revenue was €18.4 billion in the first half of 2020, down 27%
  • But net profit was down 84% in the first half, to €522 million - imply a high cost of the company
  • Wine sales dropped 20% to €1.98 billion, sales of fashion and leather dropped 23% to €7.98 billion - the two smallest fall among all categories
  • By June 30, Asia (exclude Japan) has 1,471 stores, while Europe (exclude France) has 1,175 stores. US has 834 stores, France 528, Japan 430

 

TECHNOLOGY PLATFORMS 

Alphabet 

The holding company that houses search leader Google and video streamer Youtube saw a rough quarter as advertisers pared spending and growth was harder to catalyse than usual. 

  • Revenue fell to $31.6 billion from $31.7 billion in the corresponding period a year ago. 
  • Operating income fell from $9.18 billion to $6.3 billion. 
  • YouTube advertising revenues was $3.8 billion, up 6% year-on-year, network advertising revenues was $4.7 billion, down 10% year-on-year. 
  • However, YouTube ad revenue increased 6% to $3.8 billion from $3.6 billion a year ago.
  • Total traffic acquisition costs were $6.7 billion or 22% of total advertising revenues, down 8% year-over-year. Total TAC, as a percentage of total advertising revenues, was up slightly year-over-year.
  • APAC revenue was up 8% in constant currency YoY, but down 3% sequentially  
  • As it seeks to grow its nonn-advertising revenue, Alphabet is seeing some growth in subscription services. For example, YouTube premium's availabiliuty has grown from five counincreased tries to 94 in two years and subscriber base has grown 60% over the previous year to 20 million users. YouTube has paid the music industry $3 billion in fees. 

Facebook

The social media behemoth shrugged off regulatory fire and advertising boycotts to show decent growth in the second quarter. It grew its user numbers too, as at-home audiences flocked to its apps to stay conncted.

  • Revenue increased from $16.8 billion for its second quarter last fiscal to $18.6 billion this year, Asia-Pacific revenue climbed from $3 billion to $3.34 billion.   
  • Advertising revenue grew, despite several brands boycotting the platform, from $16.6 billion to $18.3 billion, in Asia-Pacific this number was $3.31 billion versus $2.91 billion.  
  • Operating income for the same period was up 29% from $4.6 billion to 5.9 billion. 
  • Daily activr users were up 12% to 1.79 billion and monthly users up 14% YoY to 2.7 billion. 
  • Asia-Pacific's DAU numbers went up from 615 million to 699 million users. 
  • In Q2, average revenue per user was flat at $7.5 billion worldwide, but down marginally from $3.04 to $2.99 in Asia Pacific, on a year-on-year basis. 

Amazon

The strongest performance from the big tech names, as several business units ranging from web services to home delivery of groceries and streaming media services soared due to rising number of confined consumers.  

  • Revenue was up 40% from $63.4 billion to $88.9 billion 
  • Online grocery sales tripled year-on-year 
  • Operating income up 89% Yoy from $3 billion to $5.8 billion 
  • Its international business' sales were up 38% to $22.6 billion and this unit turned a profit of $345 million in this quarter compared to a loss of $601 million in the corresponding quarter last year 
  • The cloud-computing unit, Amazon Web Services, saw revenues of of $10.81 billion up 29% year over year, but slowing from the 33% growth it reported in the first quarter.
  • Amazon’s other category, mainly its advertising business, generated $4.22 billion in revenue, up 41% year over year, while subscription services, which includes revenue from Prime memberships, rose 29% year-over-year to $6.02 billion.

CONSUMER BRANDS 

Samsung

The Korean conglomerate reported a cut in marketing expenses and offline promotions, along with a drop in smartphone shipments. However, by managing its cost aggressively, the company increased its profit for its second quarter. 

  • Revenue fell 4% quarter-on-quarter and 6% from a year earlier due to reduced sales of smartphones and other devices.
  • Operating profit climbed to 8.1 trillion won (US$6.81 billion), from 6.6 trillion won in the corresponding quarter.
  • Operating profit was also up the mobile division by 25% to 1.95 trillion won, as the company pared marketing expenses. Overall operating profit was up 23%.
  • The Mobile Communications business plans to unveil new flagship smartphones including the Galaxy Note and a foldable phone and expand sales of mid-tier models. Samsung noted intensifying competition amid a gradual recovery in demand in the second half of the year.
  • While a company-wide marketing expense figure isn't available, Samsung's SG&A (selling, general and administrative) expense went down to 12.91 trillion won in this quarter, versus 13.59 trillion won in the corresponding period last fiscal. The quarter-on-quarter the drop was even sharper.

Mondelez

The maker of Oreo cookies and Dairy Milk chocolate was hit by plummeting demand across markets in South Asia and Southeast Asia, even as its sales in North America grew. Here's how its numbers stacked up: 

  • Overall revenue fell to $5.91 billion in the quarter from $6.06 billion in the same period last financial year.
  • In North America, revenues rose 17.3% to $2.03 billion, while in Asia, Middle East and Africa, revenues fell 8.5% to $1.2 billion. 
  • Southeast Asia grew by mid-single digits. India declined by double digits due to significant lockdowns and store closures in April and May before returning to mid single-digit growth in June, company CFO Luca Zaramella told analysts. 
  • The company spent $100 million on protecting its business from the vagaries of COVID-19.
  • Operating income fell 32% to $713 million as the company felt the pinch of increased expenses and under-performing emerging markets.  

Singapore Airlines

With air travel practically grounded, the full-cost carrier saw its numbers tumble deep into the red. Across all metrics, Singapore Airlines struggled to stay aloft, providing us with a placeholder for the travel industry's troubles amidst a pandemic. 

  • The carrier posted a loss of $817 million for its first quarter, compared to a profit of $111 million the prior year, as it got buffeted by sweeping closures. 
  • Revenue fell nearly 80% as the airline was able to fill barely a tenth of the seats it had on offer. 
  • The firm says passenger traffic could take two to four years to recover, even as it recasts its business to maximise cargo revenues. 

Starbucks

The coffee chain 's business is largely impacted by the spread of COVID-19, but approximately 97% of its stores resumed operation. In China and Japan, 99% of Starbucks have opened.

  • Consolidated net revenue of the past three months dropped 38% year-on-year to $4.2 billion.
  • Starbucks lost less outside of America. Operating margin dropped 9.1% in the international area, compared with a 14.4% contraction in its Americas segment.
  • The company opened 130 net new stores in the past three months, recording 5% year-on-year unit growth and reaching 32,180 stores globally
  • At the end of Q3 there are total 15,243 stores in the US and 4,447 stores in China, the two biggest markets.
  • In China, as digital adoption accelerates, the brand has innovated on ways to reach customers. In May, it  launched a new WeChat mini-program with new functionality for WeChat users including Starbucks Delivers. In June, Starbucks Rewards was enhanced, introducing a multi-tier redemption system similar to what was introduced in the US last year. Fueled by these new digital initiatives, Rewards member numbers increased 25% over Q2 to 9.9 million, representing 9% growth over the prior year.

Visa 

The payment gateway has had a mixed quarter for March-June. Its offline business has stumbled with consumers confined to their homes, but it has also seen an uptick in online transactions as people have worked, played and studied at home. 

  • For its latest quarter, revenue was down 17% to $4.8 billion as the company's online business struggled to compensate for offline struggles. 
  • Profits too slumped 23% to $2.4 billion.
  • Marketing expenses were deeply cut by 38% to $174 million in an effort to keep costs low. 
  • Vasant Prabhu, Visa's vice chairman and chief financial officer, told analysts that Asia Pacific payments volume declined 16% in constant dollars, even as reopening of Asian economies has been gradual. Two of the least impacted countries are Korea and New Zealand, both of which were close to flat in the quarter.
  • Meanwhile, domestic spending in Japan and Australia was back to 2019 levels by late June. India, however, remains one of the most impacted markets globally. Processed transactions declined 13% in the quarter. However, the pace of decline is slowing from a 24% decline in April, to a 4% decline in June.

Carol Huang contributed reporting to this story.

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