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Niu reports 34.4% decrease in revenue in Q1 as e-scooter sales plummet during COVID-19 outbreak

China’s leading e-scooter company was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic but retains a positive outlook as demand recovers.

Niu e-scooters- Photo by Tuchong.com Niu e-scooters- Photo by Tuchong.com

Electric scooter company Niu Technologies (NASDAQ: NIU) booked RMB 232.9 million (USD 32.77 million) in revenue during the first quarter of 2020, a 34.4% slump compared to last year, with a 40% decrease in sales as the business was ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, the company reported on Monday.

Despite the decline in revenue, Changzhou-based Niu actually exceeded market expectations of USD 32.5 million. 

Niu recorded a net loss of RMB 26.4 million in the first quarter compared to net income of RMB 12 million in the same period of the prior year. While Niu’s domestic sales dropped by 43.5% YoY, international sales of e-scooters increased by 5.9% to 5,844 units.

The revenue generated per e-scooter also increased from RMB 671 to RMB 1,168 during the quarter, mainly due to customer’s increased spending on accessories, spare parts, and services.

On the earnings call, the company announced plans on rolling out a monthly rental service in Europe in June.

Niu’s CEO Dr. Yan Li explained that the firm had delayed full work resumption during February and March before returning to normal operations in early April, but was pleased with the recovery in demand and predicted a return to healthy growth for the company’s sales in China. He also highlighted the firm’s employment of WeChat mini-programs to facilitate greater e-commerce penetration and customer service.

The company announced its expectations for the second quarter, with total revenue to range between RMB 585 million (USD 82.3 million) to RMB 655 million (USD 92.1 million), representing a year-over-year increase of 10% to 23%. The company’s share price closed at USD 9.32 on Monday, up 2.87%.