2015 Was a Big Year for MercadoLibre

mercadolibre-3002015 was a big year for Latin American ecommerce marketplace Mercado Libre, and U.S. merchants looking to sell to consumers in Latin America need to take notice.

During its fourth-quarter earnings call, MercadoLibre said there were 128.4 million items sold through the marketplace in 2015, a growth of 26.8% year-over-year, resulting in a gross merchandise volume of $7.2 billion. Consolidated net revenues for the full year were $651.8 million, a 17.1% increase year-over-year.

“In our view, 2015 was one of the strongest years ever in terms of the steps made towards executing the strategic vision we set forth for the company,” said MercadoLibre CFO Pedro Arnt as he kicked off the earnings call. “We exited the year on a favorable trajectory across nearly all our major initiatives, allowing us to not only wrap up a great 2015 but also giving us confidence that we can continue to execute well and make progress on multiple fronts during 2016.”

MercadoLibre also said it exited the year with increased user engagement of its ecosystem through improved product offerings.

For example, MercadoPago’s Merchant service revenues grew at triple digits in local currencies for the third consecutive quarter, consolidating as one of MercadoLibre’s fastest growing segments. And its MercadoEnvios shipped close to 70% of units sold in Brazil during the quarter, and half of the items in all four countries: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Colombia.

MercadoLibre also said mobile continued to increase penetration of GMV and drive user registration. Mobile payments also had encouraging results, in the peer to peer transfer products and adoption of mobile POS systems by merchants.

Financing revenues grew in local currencies 57% year-over-year, driven by the high adoption of interest-free listings type in Brazil, and by the positive response to interest-free listings in Mexico and in Argentina, where it was launched towards the end of the fourth quarter.

Arnt said that as MercadoLibre heads into 2016 and beyond, it will remain focused on the sustained growth of these strategic initiatives.

“We plan to achieve this through the application of a disciplined investment approach that will lay the foundations for our long-term growth in a sustainable manner,” Arnt said. “Such investment approach involves deploying more capital than in the past behind the initiatives within our ecosystem that we deem to be both critical to our users and where we have evidence that we are succeeding.”

Tim Parry is Multichannel Merchant’s Managing Editor, and the lead programmer for Growing Global.

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