(Bloomberg) -- Coupang Inc. jumped in late US trading after South Korea’s largest online retailer reported its fastest revenue growth  since 2021.

Net revenue at Coupang rose 23% to $6.6 billion in the December quarter, beating an average analyst estimate of $6.4 billion. It reported a net income of $1.03 billion, although more than 80% of that stemmed from a one-time tax accounting gain. 

The US-traded shares rose more than 12% in extended trading.  

For the full calendar year, the company posted its first net profit since it was founded in 2010. Backed by SoftBank Group Corp., the company popularized early and one-day delivery in South Korea, taking market share from traditional retail giants such as Emart and Lotte Mart. Its loyalty program akin to Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime also helped it win and retain customers, propelling active users to record highs in past quarters. That number rose to more than 21 million during the quarter, up 16% from a year ago.

Coupang is seeking growth in markets such as Taiwan, at the same time that peers in China like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s AliExpress and PDD Holdings Inc.’s Temu are also venturing abroad. In January, Coupang said it has completed the acquisition of UK-based Farfetch Holdings Plc.

Going forward, the company expects its overall growth to be more consistent with its average growth rate in 2023, Chief Financial Officer Gaurav Anand said during a conference call. “We anticipate incurring adjusted EBITDA losses in developing offerings of approximately $650 million in 2024, excluding losses related to Farfetch,” he said, adding that the company does not anticipate further incremental investments in Farfetch.

Still, Chief Executive Officer Bom Kim downplayed the heightening competition from the Chinese e-commerce heavyweights. Coupang has just single-digit share of South Korea’s retail market, projected at more than $560 billion, he said.

“Retail has been and continues to be dynamic and highly competitive, with many players ranging from traditional offline retailers to large Chinese competitors and a constant stream of new entrants, both domestic and international,” Kim said. “Customers are always going to seek the best selection, the best price and the best service and they have a lot of alternatives. So we have to constantly find new moments of wow for our customers to fight for and earn their loyalty every day.”

--With assistance from Molly Schuetz.

(Updates with share price and comment from fourth paragraph.)

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.