Meituan Dianping posts 1.7 billion yuan loss in Q1 revenue

China's food delivery giant Meituan Dianping posted a quarterly loss of 1.7 billion yuan (about 238 million U.S. dollars) in revenue as COVID-19 severely hit its food delivery service as well as in-store, hotel and travel businesses.

Due to the impact of the coronavirus which took place in late January in China, the total operating revenue in the first three months dropped 12.6 percent year on year to 16.8 billion yuan, according to the company's earnings report.

The company's two core businesses were both hit hard by the pandemic. During the first quarter, the revenue of food delivery dropped 11.4 percent year on year to 9.5 billion yuan, while the daily average number of food-delivery transactions fell 18.2 percent year on year to 15.1 million.

However, the food delivery leader also said that the pandemic has put online services on the spotlight.

"The epidemic has also made online services and operations more widely accepted and used by consumers and store owners. The areas we have long paid attention to and explored have burst with new vitality during this period. I believe these will greatly accelerate the supply-side digitalization. We will focus on the new infrastructure of the life service industry and comprehensively help the digital upgrade of stores," said Wang Xing, CEO of Meituan-Dianping.

Recent data showed that measures concerning the resumption of business implemented by the company have taken effect. In the last week of March, more than 70 percent of takeaway orders have recovered to over 60 percent before the epidemic, and 30 percent of the orders have completely exceeded the pre-epidemic situation.

(Cover image: Meituan delivery bikes /VCG)