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Catch Group reports loss after $24.9m writedown

E-commerce company Catch Group reported a $17.8 million loss for the year ended 30 June, 2017, after booking a $24.9 million impairment on the value of its goodwill.

The writedown was in the company’s services business unit, which comprised its daily deal business, Scoopon, which it sold to Lux Group on 1 December, 2017.

This follows the $113.8 million loss Catch reported in 2016, after writing down the value of its goodwill and trademarks by $125 million across its products and services businesses.

According to a financial statement filed with ASIC earlier this week, the writedowns are the result of a management review of the company’s five-year cash flow forecasts due to recent trading performances.

The Scoopon sale was part of a broader asset swap between Catch Group and Lux Group, which involved Catch acquiring Lux Group’s discount apparel site, Brands Exclusive, and discount homewares sites, The Home, and Lux Group acquiring Catch’s travel booking sites, BonVoyage and Scoopon Travel.

The two companies also merged their daily deal sites, including Scoopon, Cudo, LivingSocial, and New Zealand-based TreatMe, into a joint venture with 50-50 ownership.

According to Catch Group’s financial statement, it paid $2 million to Lux Group and received $8.8 million cash and 46 per cent of the shares in Lux Everyday Pty Ltd.

$13.7m EBITDA before writedown

Excluding the goodwill impairment expense, Catch posted $13.7 million in EBITDA in 2017, up 12.5 per cent on 2016.

The online retailer generated $240.9 million in revenue in 2017, a 2.6 per cent increase over its 2016 revenues of $234.8 million.

“The current performance of our business is outstanding,” Catch Group chief executive Nati Harpaz told Internet Retailing.

“The launch of the marketplace exactly one year ago has accelerated our growth and we now generate more than $1 million of sales every day with more than $2 million weekly sales coming from marketplace.

“The key to growing our marketplace has been the growth in sellers which now tops 1,000 sellers and more than 1 million SKUs available on the website. This number continues to grow despite the fact that we are very selective as to the curation of our marketplace and who we invite to join our ecosystem.”

The launch of the marketplace and Catch Connect, a new mobile phone service the company rolled out in February, are expected to have a positive impact on the company’s revenue in 2018.

Catch Group CEO Nati Harpaz is the chairman of Octomedia, Internet Retailing’s parent company.

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