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MercadoLibre Posts Fourth Consecutive Quarter of Accelerating Revenue Growth Over 100%

By Danny Vena - May 5, 2021 at 7:58PM

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The Latin American e-commerce leader also jumped on the Bitcoin bandwagon.

MercadoLibre (MELI -5.30%) delivered triple-digit growth to kick off 2021, marking its fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year revenue growth over 100%. The Latin American e-commerce and digital-payments leader grew revenue to $1.4 billion, up 158% year over year in local currencies. 

The results were driven by online retail that soared 139%, while fintech revenue from its digital-payments offering -- Mercado Pago -- jumped 72%. It's worth noting that both segments accelerated sequentially, fueled by explosive growth in its three top markets, Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, which grew revenue by 223%, 139%, and 148%, respectively.

Smiling woman entering credit card into ecommerce site on laptop.

Image source: Getty Images.

Many of MercadoLibre's underlying metrics were equally impressive. Gross merchandise volume (GMV), or the total value of products sold on its platform, grew to $6.16 billion, up 114%, accelerating from 108% growth in the fourth quarter. The digital-payments business grew even faster, with total payment volume (TPV) of $14.7 billion, up 129%, while the number of payment transactions topped 630 million, up 117%. Off-platform payments continued to fuel growth, up 136%. 

The company's gross profit margin slipped to 42.9% from 48% in the prior-year quarter, driven by growth of its first-party sales and the expansion of its shipping business. 

MercadoLibre's loss widened to $44 million, which requires context. If not for a one-time $49 million charge to extinguish existing debt, the company would have generated a profit. 

New users continue to flock to the company's e-commerce and fintech offerings. Unique active users grew 62% year over year to 70 million, while the number of items sold jumped to 220 million, up 110%. Mercado Envios, its shipping solution, continued its rapid expansion, as items shipped surged to 208 million, up 131%. 

MercadoLibre said it purchased $7.8 million in Bitcoin as part of its "treasury strategy."

Danny Vena owns shares of Bitcoin and MercadoLibre. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Bitcoin and MercadoLibre. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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