Afterpay posts monster sales growth -- and its shares are going nuts

Chris McGrath/Getty Images
  • Afterpay recorded a 289% increase in total underlying sales to $2.18 billion in the year to June.
  • Q4 underlying sales were up 171% to $736 Million.
  • 16,500 retailers and 2.2 million people have transacted on the Afterpay platform.

Shares in Afterpay Touch went on a tear after the “buy now, pay later” fintech released a business update showing strong top line sales and customer growth in the financial year to June.

At the close, the shares were up 23.9% to $13.53.

The technology-driven payments company launched in 2015 says it processed more than $2.18 billion of sales through the Afterpay platform in 2018, a 289% increase on the previous 12 months.

Underlying sales in the fourth quarter of 2018 were up 171% to $736 million compared to the same three months last year. And compared to the third quarter of 2018 sales were up 39%.

The company now expects full year group EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation) to be between $33 million and $34 million.

Afterpay was last month named named FinTech Organisation of the Year for a second year in a row and its CEO and founder, Nick Molnar, the Emerging FinTech Leader of the Year.

Afterpay estimates it processes more than 10% of all physical online retailing in Australia and that 10% of the purchasing Australian population has transacted with Afterpay.

The platform is used by 16,500 retailers, up from 6,000 at the end of the 2017 financial year. There were two million total active customers in 2018.

The latest retailers to sign up include Bing Lee, Mitre 10 and Diesel.

The company says platform growth is being driven by a combination of new customers, growing at an average of 3,600 per day, repeat customer activity, new retailers, increasing share of retailer check-out and adoption of Afterpay’s in-store proposition by existing multi-channel retail partners.

“There is significant scope for future expansion in Australia and New Zealand,” says Afterpay.

The company says there is a significant pipeline of existing multi-channel retailer partners adopting Afterpay in-store, in addition to online.

“Afterpay is resonating strongly because it offers customers a fundamentally different value proposition to traditional credit products when it comes to paying for smaller, lifestyle relatedpurchases,” the company says.

“Traditional credit providers typically make money from the consumer and benefit when debt balances accrue and remain outstanding for long periods of time.

“Already burdened with the high cost of education and big life purchases, millennials in particular are averse to falling into a ‘debt trap’ and therefore utilise our product as it relates to smaller but more regular lifestyle purchases.”

Afterpay says its customers are highly engaged with repeat transactions representing 92% of monthly total transaction value.

The Afterpay app has now been downloaded more than 1.6 million times, up from 850,000 at the end of the first half.

The company also launched in the US in mid-May 2018 and processed $11 million of underlying sales in the first full month. It has so far signed 400 retailers.

Afterpay is due to publish its audited financial results August 23.

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