The Chinese e-commerce company, which posted net revenues of 576.9 billion yuan in 2019 — a nearly 25 percent increase from last year — said it has been responding to the epidemic by sending medical assistance to the Hubei province, where the virus was first detected, and by providing its employees with equipment including face masks, company management said on their earnings call Monday.
Meanwhile, the company’s cfo Sidney Huang will be retiring after more than six years, and succeeded by Sandy Xu, the company’s senior vice president and cfo of JD Retail. The company’s growing revenues amid the global coronavirus epidemic seemed to placate Wall Street — company shares rose more than 7 percent in early trading.
In an earnings call on Monday, company leadership framed Huang’s retirement as a part of a thought out, long-term strategy.
“I would like to point out this is a preplanned and a well-prepared transition,” Huang said on the call with analysts Monday. “I feel fortunate to have been able to pass my role into good hands before I reach 55, the ideal retirement age I had planned for myself.”
“His professional expertise, integrity, humility and fairness have all earned him the star from my side and from others throughout the company,” Liu said on the call.
In the fourth quarter of 2019, the company hauled in net revenues of 170.7 billion yuan, a 26.6 percent increase from in 2018. The company also said it expects that net revenues for the first quarter of 2020 will grow at least 10 percent from the first quarter of 2019, unless the impact of the coronavirus spreads. Company leaders said they would provide a margin outlook for the full year after gauging the progression of the coronavirus outbreak.
Huang said, so far, the company was able to get back up and running after the Chinese New Year holiday in February because of its “self-operated proprietary supply chain and logistics network.”
The company “has been in a unique position to provide a broad product selection and interrupted timely service to our customers in most parts of the country as people turned to e-commerce for daily groceries and other necessities,” he told analysts Monday.
The company’s growth was spurred also by its expanding customer base, which includes a total of 362 active customers over the past year, an 18.6 percent increase from 2018. The company brought on 28 million net new customers since September — the largest net addition of customers in recent years, the company said.