BEST Inc. Announces Unaudited First Quarter 2021 Financial Results
HANGZHOU, China, June 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- BEST Inc. (NYSE: BEST) ("BEST" or the "Company"), a leading integrated smart supply chain solutions and logistics services provider in China, today announced its unaudited financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2021.
Johnny Chou, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BEST, commented, "Our first quarter results reflected a mix of both the progress brought about by our November 2020 strategic refocusing plan and the ongoing challenges we are still facing. Our execution of the strategic refocusing plan delivered substantial improvement in Freight, Supply Chain Management and Global, as reflected in their top line growth along with strong gross margin expansion. We continued to solidify our leading position in the freight market, while refocusing our efforts on high-margin accounts for Supply Chain Management. We also gained ground in the Southeast Asian market through Global despite the COVID-19 pandemic."
"For Express, our strategies are on the right track, and the rapidly evolving competitive landscape requires us to quicken the pace of our action. Our accelerated measures will focus on networking stability and service quality by optimizing the structure of products, customers and franchisee partners, in order to create a clear path to sustainable profitability."
"Although we expect the turnaround of Express to take approximately 6 to 9 months, we have a solid, clear strategic direction targeting sustainable development, supported by the attractive growth prospects of e-commerce and the unique value proposition of our integrated smart supply chain solutions and logistics services. We are fully dedicated to positioning our company for long-term success."
Gloria Fan, BEST's Chief Financial Officer, commented, "In the first quarter of 2021, our revenue reached RMB6.5 billion, increasing 29.9% year-over-year while our net loss was RMB604 million as our initiatives for Express need time to materialize at the bottom line. Our focus today continues to be on cost reduction across the entire organization, including unit cost structure optimization for Express and Freight, as well as the streamlining of SG&A expenses. As we navigate through the current environment, we are making various strategic evaluations and are prepared to take appropriate actions to strengthen our balance sheet and liquidity to support our strategic refocusing plan. In particular, we are looking at financing options in relation to certain of our business units, and we will provide details as necessary or appropriate if any definitive step is taken."
For the Quarter Ended March 31, 2021:
BEST Express – We continued to focus on optimizing product structure, improving network stability and flexibility, as well as enhancing service quality and customer experience during the first quarter. While the results from these actions are not fully visible from our financial results, we believe they have improved the underlying fundamentals of our network and we will further accelerate our actions to target a return to profitability later in the year.
During the quarter, parcel volume increased by 33.6% YoY. Gross margin contracted by 3.2 ppts due to a decline in ASP per parcel of 17.6% YoY, partially offset by a decrease in average cost per parcel of 15.1% YoY.
BEST Freight – Freight once again delivered a strong quarter with a higher-than-industry-average growth rate and improving profitability. The Company continued to emphasize the e-commerce aspect of its freight services, solidify its leadership position and brand recognition, and improve operating efficiency. Freight volume increased by 81.0% YoY in the first quarter of 2021. Average cost per tonne and ASP per tonne decreased by 20.6% YoY and 5.4% YoY, respectively.
BEST Supply Chain Management – The total number of orders fulfilled by Cloud OFCs increased by 20.6% YoY to 100.8 million in the first quarter of 2021 and the total number of orders fulfilled by franchised Cloud OFCs increased by 30.6% YoY to 52.8 million. The number of franchised OFCs increased by 15.2% YoY to 348 in the first quarter of 2021. In the first quarter of 2021, gross margin for Supply Chain Management was 5.4%, compared with 0.8% in the first quarter of 2020, benefitting from cost reduction efforts and discontinuation of legacy low-margin accounts.
BEST Global – Global continued to expand both cross-border and in Southeast Asia with strong margin improvement. In the first quarter of 2021, parcel volume in Southeast Asia increased by 249% YoY to 30.8 million. Global's gross margin improved significantly by 22.2 ppts YoY due to better economies of scale.
Others – In respect of UCargo, as of March 31, 2021, the number of registered drivers on the UCargo mobile app increased by 66.2% YoY to 347,854. In the first quarter of 2021, the total number of transactions on the trucking brokerage platform increased by 65.4% YoY to 185,676.
Key Operational Metrics
Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) Report
On June 8, 2021, the Company released its third ESG report, which can be accessed via the following link: http://www.best-inc.com/2020ESGReportIIvPUB.pdf
For the Quarter Ended March 31, 2021:
The following table sets forth a breakdown of revenue by business segment for the periods indicated.
Cost of Revenue
The following table sets forth a breakdown of cost of revenue by business segment for the periods indicated.
Cost of Revenue was RMB6,690.0 million (US$1,021.1 million) or 103.0% of revenue in the first quarter of 2021, compared to RMB5,240.6 million or 104.8% of revenue in the same quarter of 2021. The decrease of 1.8 ppts in cost of revenue as a percentage of revenue was primarily attributable to a steeper decrease in unit cost than ASP for Freight and Global business units and discontinuation of certain low-margin accounts for Supply Chain business unit.
Gross Loss was RMB193.4 million (US$29.5 million) in the first quarter of 2021, compared to gross loss of RMB238.0 million in the same period of 2020. Gross Loss Margin was 3.0%, an improvement of 1.8 percentage points ("ppts") YoY.
The following table sets forth a breakdown of operating expenses and adjusted operating expenses by category for the periods indicated.
Selling, General and Administrative Expenses were RMB416.4 million (US$63.6 million) or 6.4% of revenue in the first quarter of 2021, compared to RMB384.1 million or 7.7% of revenue in the same quarter of 2020. The decrease in selling, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of revenue was primarily attributable to improved operating efficiencies.
Research and Development Expenses were RMB53.7 million (US$8.2 million) or 0.8% of revenue in the first quarter of 2021, compared to RMB50.7 million, or 1.0% of revenue in the same quarter of 2020.
Share-based Compensation ("SBC") Expenses included in the cost and expense items above in the first quarter of 2021 were RMB29.0 million (US$4.4 million), compared to RMB33.6 million in the same quarter of 2020. In the first quarter of 2021, RMB0.3 million (US$0.04 million) was allocated to cost of revenue, RMB1.5 million (US$0.2 million) was allocated to selling expenses, RMB25.3 million (US$3.9 million) was allocated to general and administrative expenses, and RMB1.9 million (US$0.3 million) was allocated to research and development expenses.
Net Loss and Non-GAAP Net Loss
Net Loss in the first quarter of 2021 was RMB604.5 million (US$92.3 million), compared to a net loss of RMB666.9 million in the same period of 2020. Excluding SBC expenses, amortization of intangible assets resulting from business acquisitions and gain from appreciation of investment (if any for a given period), Non-GAAP Net Loss in the first quarter of 2021 was RMB581.1 million (US$88.7 million), compared to non-GAAP net loss of RMB632.3 million in the same quarter of 2020.
The following table sets forth a breakdown of non-GAAP net loss for the three months ended March 31, 2021 by segment.
Diluted EPS and Non-GAAP Diluted EPS
Diluted EPS in the first quarter of 2021 was negative RMB1.55 (US$0.24), based on a weighted average of 386.8 million diluted shares outstanding during the quarter. This is compared to negative RMB1.69 on a weighted average of 389.8 million diluted shares outstanding in the same period of 2020. Excluding SBC expenses, amortization of intangible assets resulting from business acquisitions and gain from appreciation of investment (if any for a given period), Non-GAAP Diluted EPS in the first quarter of 2021 was negative RMB1.49 (US$0.23), compared to negative RMB1.60 in the same period of 2020. A reconciliation of non-GAAP diluted EPS to diluted EPS is included at the end of this results announcement.
Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA Margin
Adjusted EBITDA in the first quarter of 2021 was negative RMB396.9 million (US$60.6 million), compared to negative RMB502.6 million in same quarter of 2020. Adjusted EBITDA Margin was negative 6.1% in the first quarter of 2021, compared to negative 10.0% in the same quarter of 2020.
Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA Margin by Segment
The following table sets forth a breakdown of adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margin for the three months ended March 31, 2021 by segment.
Cash and Cash Equivalents, Restricted Cash and Short-term Investments
As of March 31, 2021, cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash and short-term investments were RMB3,976.8 million (US$607.0 million), compared to RMB4,464.2 million as of December 31, 2020. The decrease in cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash and short-term investments was primarily due to net cash used in operating activities.
Net Cash Used in Operating Activities
Net cash used in continuing operating activities was RMB563.6 million (US$86.0 million), compared to RMB1,230.9 million in the same period of 2020. The improvement in net cash used in continuing operating activities was mainly due to increased volume for the Express and Freight business segments.
Capital Expenditures ("CAPEX")
CAPEX was RMB254.3 million (US$38.8 million), or 3.9% of total revenue in the first quarter ended March 31, 2021, compared to CAPEX of RMB345.9 million, or 6.9% of total revenue, in the same period of 2020.
As of the date of this press release, the Company had approximately 388.2 million ordinary shares outstanding(). Each American Depositary Share represents one Class A ordinary share.
Based on current market conditions and current operations, the Company expects its revenue for the full fiscal year of 2021 to be between RMB34 billion and RMB36 billion. This forecast reflects management's current and preliminary expectation, which is subject to change.
RESIGNATION OF INDEPENDENT DIRECTOR
Ms. Quan Hao, an independent director and chairman of the audit committee of the Company, has resigned from these positions due to personal reasons, effective July 31, 2021. Ms. Hao's resignation is not a result of any disagreement with the Company, its board of directors or its management.
Mr. Mark Qiu, an independent director and a member of the Company's audit committee, will be appointed as the chairman of the audit committee. Meanwhile, the Company will search for a candidate to succeed Ms. Hao's position as an independent director and a member of the audit committee.
WEBCAST AND CONFERENCE CALL INFORMATION
The Company will hold a conference call at 9:00 pm U.S. Eastern Time on June 8, 2021 (9:00 am Beijing Time on June 9, 2021), to discuss its financial results and operating performance for the first quarter of 2021.
Participants may access the call by dialing the following numbers:
A replay of the conference call will be accessible through June 15, 2021 by dialing the following numbers:
Please visit the Company's investor relations website, located at http://ir.best-inc.com/, to view the earnings release prior to the conference call. A live and archived webcast of the conference call and a corporate presentation will be available at the same site.
ABOUT BEST INC.
BEST Inc. (NYSE: BEST) is a leading integrated smart supply chain solutions and logistics services provider in China. Through its proprietary technology platform and extensive networks, BEST offers a comprehensive set of logistics and value-add services, including express and freight delivery, supply chain management and last-mile services, truckload service brokerage, international logistics and financial services. BEST's mission is to empower business and enrich life by leveraging technology and business model innovation to create a smarter, more efficient supply chain. For more information, please visit: http://www.best-inc.com/en/.
For investor and media inquiries, please contact:
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SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT
This announcement contains forward-looking statements. These statements are made under the "safe harbor" provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "will," "expects," "anticipates," "future," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates" and similar statements. Among other things, the business outlook and quotations from management in this announcement, as well as BEST's strategic and operational plans, contain forward-looking statements. BEST may also make written or oral forward-looking statements in its periodic reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), in its annual report to shareholders, in press releases and other written materials and in oral statements made by its officers, directors or employees to third parties. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about BEST's beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement, including but not limited to the following: BEST's goals and strategies; BEST's future business development, results of operations and financial condition; BEST 's ability to maintain and enhance its ecosystem; BEST 's ability to compete effectively; BEST 's ability to continue to innovate, meet evolving market trends, adapt to changing customer demands and maintain its culture of innovation; fluctuations in general economic and business conditions in China and other countries in which BEST operates, and assumptions underlying or related to any of the foregoing. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in BEST's filings with the SEC. All information provided in this press release and in the attachments is as of the date of this press release, and BEST does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, except as required under applicable law.
USE OF NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES
In evaluating its business, BEST considers and uses non-GAAP measures, such as non-GAAP net loss/income, non-GAAP net loss/profit margin, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA margin, EBITDA, adjusted selling expenses, adjusted general and administrative expenses, adjusted research and development expenses, and non-GAAP diluted EPS, as supplemental measures in the evaluation of the Company's operating results and in the Company's financial and operational decision-making. The Company believes these non-GAAP financial measures that help identify underlying trends in the Company's business that could otherwise be distorted by the effect of the expenses and gains that the Company includes in loss from operations and net loss. The Company believes that these non-GAAP financial measures provide useful information about its operating results, enhance the overall understanding of its past performance and future prospects and allow for greater visibility with respect to key metrics used by the Company's management in its financial and operational decision-making. The presentation of these non-GAAP financial measures is not intended to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for the financial information prepared and presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP. For more information on these non-GAAP financial measures, please see the table captioned "Reconciliations of Non-GAAP Measures to the Nearest Comparable GAAP Measures" in the results announcement.
The non-GAAP financial measures are provided as additional information to help investors compare business trends among different reporting periods on a consistent basis and to enhance investors' overall understanding of the Company's current financial performance and prospects for the future. These non-GAAP financial measures should be considered in addition to results prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP, but should not be considered a substitute for, or superior to, U.S. GAAP results. In addition, the Company's calculation of the non-GAAP financial measures may be different from the calculation used by other companies, and therefore comparability may be limited.
RECONCILIATIONS OF NON-GAAP MEASURES TO THE NEAREST COMPARABLE GAAP MEASURES
The table below sets forth a reconciliation of the Company's net loss to EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margin for the periods indicated:
The table below sets forth a reconciliation of the Company's net loss to non-GAAP net loss, non-GAAP net loss margin for the periods indicated:
The table below sets forth a reconciliation of the Company's Diluted EPS to non-GAAP Diluted EPS for the periods indicated:
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SOURCE BEST Inc.