QVC was the second major home shopping network to report its fourth quarter and 2012 earnings, with revenue increasing 2 percent to $1.8 billion in the quarter and 3 percent to $5.6 billion for the year.
Last week HSN posted net sales of $2.27 billion for 2012, a 5 percent gain from the prior year.
“We see 2012 as a year highlighted by global expansion and mobile leadership for QVC,” QVC President and CEO Mike George said in a canned statement Wednesday.
“We expanded globally by launching a joint venture in China and ended the year reaching 48 million homes in China, up from 32 million at the start of the year. Additionally, we completed important foundation work that will prepare us for more rapid global expansion in the coming years. Furthermore, QVC is now recognized as an industry leader in mobile commerce. We’re truly changing the way the world shops — together with our loyal and expanding customer base.”
For domestic QVC, the fourth-quarter and full-year sales showed strength in home and beauty products, and full-year results also showed strength in apparel sales. For the fourth quarter and full year, these increases were partially offset by a decline in electronics and jewelry product sales.
Average selling price (ASP) increased 2 percent from $60.35 to $61.83 and units sold declined 1 percent compared to the prior-year fourth quarter. The return rate was relatively flat compared to the prior year. For the full year, ASP increased 3 percent from $55.74 to $57.52 and units sold remained flat.
Returns as a percent of gross product revenue increased 55 basis points due to the mix of products sold, namely apparel that returns at higher rates.
In the fourth quarter, eCommerce revenue increased 10 percent to $781 million and grew to 43 percent from 40 percent as a percentage of total U.S. net revenue. For the year, eCommerce revenue increased 12 percent to $2.2 billion and grew to 40 percent from 37 percent as a percentage of total U.S. net revenue.
Adjusted OIBDA increased 7 percent to $429 million in the fourth quarter and 5 percent to $1.3 billion for the year. Adjusted OIBDA margin(2) increased 109 basis points and 50 basis points for the fourth quarter and the full year, respectively. Adjusted OIBDA margin increased in the fourth quarter and full year due partially to a $20 million net favorable settlement that occurred in the fourth quarter.
For the full year, adjusted OIBDA margin was also positively impacted by an improved gross margin as a result of a favorable net shipping and handling position including warehouse productivity and a decrease in credit card processing fees due to a change in U.S. legislation associated with debit-card purchases resulting in lower fees charged to merchants.
QVC is part of Liberty Interactive Corp. Its consolidated results include all its international networks. QVC’s consolidated net revenue increased 2 percent in the fourth quarter to $2.7 billion and 3 percent to $8.5 billion for the year. Adjusted OIBDA increased 4 percent to $603 million in the fourth quarter and 5 percent to $1.8 billion for the year.
QVC Italy did particularly well.
“QVC Italy continues the trend upward with sequential fourth-quarter sales growth of 44 percent in local currency over the third quarter of 2012,” Liberty’s press release said.
“QVC Italy’s revenue increased 119 percent and 168 percent in local currency in the fourth quarter and the full year, respectively. QVC Italy’s sales were primarily from the cooking and dining, beauty and apparel product categories. The adjusted OIBDA deficit improved by 44 percent in the fourth quarter and 34 percent for the year. QVC Italy’s ASP in local currency increased 5 percent and 2 percent for the fourth quarter and the full year, respectively. Units shipped increased 111 percent in the fourth quarter and 171 percent for the full year.”
Liberty President and CEO Greg Maffei also chimed in.
“QVC continues to produce solid results, with significant growth in eCommerce and mobile revenue,” he said in his canned statement.
“We are proud that a new customer satisfaction survey from ForeSee ranked QVC as one of the top performing mobile eCommerce companies. We accelerated our repurchases of Liberty Interactive stock and bought $177 million worth of shares. Attributable to Liberty Ventures, we purchased additional shares of TripAdvisor acquiring voting control of the company.”