Mar 23, 2023
Turkish E-Commerce Giant’s New CEO Bans Internal Discussions on Share Price
(Bloomberg) -- The recently-appointed chief executive officer of Hepsiburada, one of Turkey’s largest e-commerce platforms, has practically banned internal discussions about the performance of the company’s shares, which have slumped more than 90% since their Nasdaq listing.
Nilhan Onal, who took over in January, instead wants to focus on profitability and thinks that company directors should prioritize concrete work over discussions about the stock price.
“Hepsiburada has a strategy in place to focus on profitability rather than worrying about its stock price,” Onal told reporters at the company’s headquarters in Istanbul on Wednesday.
Shares of D-Market Elektronik Hizmetler ve Ticaret, also known by its brand name Hepsiburada, have taken a hit since listing on Nasdaq in 2021, slumping 93% to $0.9 apiece. Onal says the decline was due to a global downturn in the technology sector and the depreciation of the Turkish lira against the dollar.
Onal is confident that once global interest rates come down, the situation will change. The company may consider buying back shares, but will only do it if that’s the best use of cash.
Onal plans to increase profitability by increasing the focus on affordable products, cutting marketing costs, expanding in the non-electronic product segment and leveraging new revenue streams such as the cargo unit Hepsijet and payments system Hepsipay.
Other takeaways from the interview:
- The firm has no plans for inorganic growth but is open to opportunities if they arise
- It’s also looking to expand internationally, starting with a test run in Azerbaijan
- The earthquake-impacted areas in Turkey make up around 8% of the company’s business volume. Hepsiburada has pledged to support merchants in the area until the end of 2025
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