The year is off to a shaky start for eBay, but the company is pinning hopes on the success of new branding efforts.
For the first quarter of 2017, the online seller platform saw net revenue climb 4 percent to $2.2 billion, compared with $2.1 billion during the same period last year, but net income fell 2 percent to $538 million from $550 million.
Nevertheless, eBay president and chief executive officer Devin Wenig told Wall Street analysts during a call that the numbers represent a “strong start to the year.”
Wening also pointed to the addition of two million active buyers to the platform since the start of the year, bringing global buyers to 169 million and plans for a guaranteed delivery program set to launch later this year that will cover delivery of “millions of items” in three days or less.
“We are making steady progress in our journey of changing eBay,” Wenig said. “In the past year, we’ve improved both the foundation of the business and our operating results. This improvement has not always been linear and it may not be going forward. But Q1 was a good start to a year where we expect to make significant progress redefining the eBay user experience and brand.”
Ebay is also prepared to hand over $500 million to Flipkart, an Amazon-like retail web site based in India, with the agreement that foreign sellers on both platforms can more easily sell to one another’s shoppers.
“The team at Flipkart are strong executors with deep knowledge of the local Indian market and we’re committed to winning in India through this partnership,” Wenig said of the deal.
Scott Schenkel, eBay’s chief financial officer and senior vice president, said the deal “significantly improves our competitive position in this strategically important market” and that it should close in the first half of this year.
Looking forward to the second quarter, eBay said it expects revenue to be around $2.3 billion, while revenue for the full year is expected to fall between $9.3 billion and $9.5 billion, a modest increase over 2016, which ended with revenue of $8.59 billion.