Jumia has disclosed that its customer base decreased by 28.1 per cent as inflation surged in its major operating markets including Nigeria, Ghana, and Egypt.

It said this in its 2023 financial results for the second quarter.

The company said its active consumers declined by one million year-on-year to 2.4 million in Q2, 2023 from 3.4 million recorded in the same period last year.

It said its gross merchandise value, which was the value of goods sold on the platform, also declined by 25.1 per cent from $271.1m in Q2, 2022 to $202.3m in Q2, 2023.

According to the financial report, orders for products on the platform also declined by 36.5 per cent, from 10.3 million orders in Q2, 2022 to 6.5 million in the same period this year.

Despite the decline in revenue and customer numbers, Jumia Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Francis Dufay, said the company was making progress in its bid to reduce losses.

Dufay said, “We continue to deliver strongly on our overriding objective of loss reduction and progress towards profitability. In the second quarter of 2023, both adjusted EBITDA and operating losses decreased by 66 per cent  year-over-year, reaching the lowest loss levels in over four years.

“Considering this strong progress, we are updating our adjusted EBITDA loss guidance for the full year 2023 to $90-100m, compared to $100-120m previously. We are navigating challenging macro conditions with discipline and focus, doubling down on our efficiency efforts. Compared to the second quarter of 2022, fulfillment sales and advertising expenses were down 50 per cent and 74 per cent, respectively.

“We are also starting to reap the benefits of our actions on overhead costs with G&A excluding share-based compensation decreasing by a third year-over-year, reaching a four year low at $17.7m.”

Noting that the inflation in Nigeria, Ghana, and Egypt was hitting the company badly, Dufay lamented that consumers in these markets have had their purchasing power eroded, which had led to a reduction in spending.

He said, “Usage performance continued to be affected by the difficult operating environment with record levels of inflation impacting consumers’ spend as well as sellers’ ability to source goods.

“In this context, we continue making fundamental enhancements to our platform to secure better supply and pricing while offering a more convenient experience to consumers and sellers.

“We remain confident in the long-term growth potential of our markets and our ability to capture this opportunity in a profitable manner.”

Jumia pointed out that the average inflation level across its footprint reached 14.1 per cent in June 2023, with highs of 42.5 per cent and 35.7 per cent registered in Ghana and Egypt, respectively.

In Nigeria, inflation rose to a new 18-year high of 24.08 per cent in July 2023.

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