REPORT_ During H1 2014, Rocket Internet continued to capitalize on the significant market opportunity especially in emerging markets through its network of companies, which have been performing in line with expectations. The Proven Winners companies had an average weighted GMV period-over-period growth of 104 percent in the first half of 2014. The Emerging Stars companies grew strongly and achieved a 378 percent average order growth from H1 2013 to H1 2014.
The Rocket Internet platform is well on track to start 10 new companies in 2014, seven of which have been launched to date and three more models are in preparation. Rocket Internet's in-house developed SellerCenter Platform (marketplace tool) has been rolled out seven companies in 46 countries and Campaign Factory Platform (Rocket Internet's customer re-engagement tool) at 20 companies across 36 different countries.
The emerging markets online fashion businesses which are being combined in the Global Fashion Group continue to show significant progress and the group is on track to complete the combination of the businesses by year end. As a result of the merger of all of the fashion companies, the decision was taken to move the financial year end of Jabong, a fashion market leader in India to December.
In H1 2014, Dafiti continued to deliver attractive net revenue growth of over 38 percent. Gross margin improved to 39 percent in H1 2014, up 3 percentage points relative to H1 2013 due to improved purchasing as well as inventory and disciplined supplier management. First half of 2014 at Lamoda was characterized by strong net revenue growth of over 112 percent in comparison to H1 2013. In terms of profitability, gross margin was 41 percent, down 2 percentage points relative to H1 2013.
Zalora’s net revenues represented 64 percent of total 2013 net revenues. In terms of profitability, gross margin was slightly lower to 32 percent, down 6 percentage point relative to first half of FY 2013. Jabong’s first half was characterized by continued very strong net revenue growth of over 187 percent in comparison to H1 2013. In terms of profitability, the gross margin has trended down to below 17 percent, 4 percentage points lower than in H1 2013.
Namshi, a leading online fashion player in the Middle East, has continued to show very strong growth in the first half of 2014. H1 2014 net revenues increased over 210 percent in comparison to H1 2013. The gross margin improved from an already strong base to 52 percent, up 1 percentage point relative to H1 2013.
The financials of the general merchandise companies are characterized by the continuous transition from an ecommerce model of selling mostly own inventory to a marketplace focused model selling 3rd party goods. Lazada, a leading general merchandise player in South East Asia, performed very strongly and continues to invest in the growth of its differentiated platform. Lazada is pursuing the shift to a marketplace driven business model. GMV in the first six months went up 202 percent in comparison to H1 2013. Gross margin improved to 9 percent, up 3 percentage points relative to FY 2013.
Linio has also continued its move to a marketplace model. Similar to Lazada, management believes that the GMV metric best reflects the growth of the business going forward. Linio GMV was up 80 percent in comparison to H1 2013. In terms of profitability, gross margin has decreased to 6 percent, down 4 percentage points. Jumia has only recently started to move towards a marketplace model. Management expects GMV to become the most relevant metric to judge topline growth. Gross margin was slightly lower to 13 percent, down 5 percentage points relative to FY 2013.