Groupon Announces Third Quarter 2012 Results

Groupon, Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) today announced financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2012.

Revenue increased 32% year-over-year to $568.6 million in the third quarter 2012, compared with $430.2 million in the third quarter 2011. Excluding the $26.0 million unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, revenue growth was 38% compared with third quarter 2011.

Gross billings, which reflects the total dollar value of customer purchases of goods and services, excluding any applicable taxes and net of estimated refunds, increased 5% year-over-year to $1.22 billion in the third quarter 2012, compared with $1.16 billion in the third quarter 2011. Excluding the $61.7 million unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, gross billings growth was 11% compared with third quarter 2011.

Operating income was $25.4 million in the third quarter 2012, which included stock-based compensation and acquisition-related expenses of $25.1 million. This compares with a loss from operations of $0.2 million in the third quarter 2011, which included net positive stock-based compensation and acquisition-related expenses of $1.5 million. Year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter had a $2.8 million favorable impact on operating income. Revenue and operating income in the third quarter 2012 included a one-time increase of $18.5 million related to breakage, or income related to unredeemed Groupons internationally, resulting from the clarification of a tax ruling in Germany.

“Our solid performance in North America was offset by continued challenges in Europe,” said Andrew Mason, CEO of Groupon. “Groupon Goods has evolved into a second major category that our customers clearly love. With deals on everything from designer sunglasses to big-screen televisions to most-wanted toys, we think it will be a great gifting destination this holiday season.”

Operating cash flow decreased 35% year-over-year to $42.1 million, compared with $64.4 million in the third quarter 2011. For the trailing twelve months ended September 30, 2012, operating cash flow was $370.2 million. Free cash flow, a non-GAAP financial measure calculated as operating cash flow less capital expenditures, was $26.1 million for the third quarter 2012, bringing free cash flow for the trailing twelve months ended September 30, 2012 to $300.4 million. This reflects an increase of 123% year-over-year compared to free cash flow in the trailing twelve months ended September 30, 2011 of $134.9 million. At the end of the quarter, Groupon had $1.2 billion in cash and cash equivalents and no long-term debt.

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