Flipkart has potential to launch IPO: Walmart

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Published: March 8, 2020 3:30 AM

Walmart officials, who were in New Delhi in November last year to attend a company event, had said the firm would continue to invest in its India businesses and build on its growth in India, the ‘most important’ market for it.

Biggs said although Flipkart's losses “will be pretty similar” to losses the firm recorded last year, the business, nonetheless, is “growing at a good rate.”Biggs said although Flipkart’s losses “will be pretty similar” to losses the firm recorded last year, the business, nonetheless, is “growing at a good rate.”

Flipkart has the potential to launch an IPO in the long-term, officials at parent company Walmart said. The US-based retailer had announced purchase of a 77% controlling stake in Bengaluru-based e-commerce firm Flipkart in May 2018 for a hefty $16 billion, valuing the company at around $21 billion. Flipkart and Amazon jointly hold 80% of India’s e-commerce sector, according to analysts.

Responding to a question on whether at some point it would make sense for Flipkart to be a stand-alone business, Brett Biggs, chief financial officer at Walmart, said: “Yes, we’ve talked about longer-term that IPO is a potential for that business. I can tell you, it runs pretty independently right now and that’s when you buy a business like that, that’s what you want it to do.” Biggs was speaking at the UBS Global Consumer & Retail Conference held earlier this week. Last month, Walmart said Flipkart led its e-commerce sales in the international segment. E-commerce contributed about 12% of total segment sales in the three months ended January 2020.

Net sales at Walmart International increased 2.3% year-on-year (y-o-y) to $33 billion in Q4FY20. Walmart officials, who were in New Delhi in November last year to attend a company event, had said the firm would continue to invest in its India businesses and build on its growth in India, the ‘most important’ market for it.

Biggs said although Flipkart’s losses “will be pretty similar” to losses the firm recorded last year, the business, nonetheless, is “growing at a good rate.”

Filings by Singapore-based Flipkart Private — the Flipkart group’s first financial filing post acquisition by Walmart — showed the group’s total revenues increased 42.32% y-o-y to Rs 43,615.5 crore on a consolidated basis in the year to March 2019. Losses, although elevated, dipped by 63.2% y-o-y to Rs 17,231.5 crore.

“PhonePe, I’m really excited about and what that could do longer term. They’re really changing how that consumer interacts on financial services,” Biggs said.

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