Kogan has been a massive beneficiary of the online shopping boom, breaking Black Friday sales records and declaring its highest shareholder payout.
Kogan has been a massive beneficiary of the online shopping boom, breaking Black Friday sales records and declaring its highest shareholder payout.

Black Friday bonanza fills Kogan coffers

Online retailer Kogan has booked a huge spike in first-half net profit and declared a record dividend after its customer base surged beyond three million and Black Friday trading hit all-time highs.

The company has been a big beneficiary of the pandemic-driven e-commerce growth, reporting a $23.6m net profit for the six months ending December 31 on Friday, up more than 164 per cent on the previous year.

Kogan said seven of its 10 biggest trading days ever occurred within the period around Black Friday, playing a big role in lifting gross sales by 97.4 per cent and revenue by 88.6 per cent.

Founder and chief executive Ruslan Kogan said the retailer "would've been cheering if we helped 3000 customers" when it launched 15 years ago but now had 3.003 million, up a whopping 76.8 per cent since the end of 2019.

Its Mighty Ape business acquired last year, a New Zealand-based online retailer specialising in gaming, toys and other entertainment, has 719,000 active customers.

Kogan's Exclusive Brands in-house product division more than doubled its revenue growth and was highly lucrative, contributing well over half of the group's record gross profit.

Kogan has sold lots of homewares products during the pandemic.
Kogan has sold lots of homewares products during the pandemic.

Its Kogan Marketplace, which allows third-party vendors and distributors to sell their products on its websites, raked in more than $13m in seller fees, up 141 per cent.

"We expect that the second half will see further growth in Exclusive Brands, the scaling up of Kogan Marketplace and integration of the Mighty Ape team and operations and further growth in the group's active customer base," the retailer said.

But the company also said unaudited numbers for last month showed "negative growth in some new verticals", including its travel insurance business, which has been suspended as an obvious consequence of the health crisis.

Kogan declared a fully franked interim dividend of 16 cents per share, up from 7.5 cents per share for the previous first half.

It hasn't been all smooth sailing for the company, which last month paid a $310,800 infringement notice for breaching Australian spam laws.

Kogan spammed its customers and made it hard to unsubscribe.
Kogan spammed its customers and made it hard to unsubscribe.

An Australian Communications and Media Authority investigation found Kogan sent more than 42 million marketing emails to consumers that they could not easily unsubscribe from, forcing them to instead set a password and log into a Kogan account.

In December, Kogan was slugged a $350,000 penalty in Federal Court action brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for offering consumers "discounts" on products that had price increases just before the promotion in 2018.

In 2016, the company paid $32,400 in penalties, again for making misleading "offers" in a Father's Day promotion.

Originally published as Black Friday bonanza fills Kogan coffers


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