China’s top air conditioner manufacturer Gree has predicted dramatic drops in both revenue and net profit in the first half of 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic kept physical stores closed and consumers stuck at home throughout large parts of the country.
For the six months through June, the company’s revenue is likely to reach between 69.5 billion yuan ($9.9 billion) and 72.5 billion yuan, compared with 98.3 billion yuan in the same period last year, Gree said in a statement published on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange’s website on Wednesday. Net profit is likely to be between 6.3 billion yuan and 7.2 billion yuan, representing a year-on-year drop of between 48% and 54%.
The company attributed the possible performance to a lack of consumer demand and air conditioner installation restrictions resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
In this year’s first quarter when the public health crisis swept across much of China, Gree suffered year-on-year drops of 49.7% and 72.5% in revenue and net profit respectively, according to the company’s quarterly earnings report.
In an attempt to offset the virus-induced losses, Gree chairwoman Dong Mingzhu has resorted to using e-commerce livestreams to sell billions of yuan worth of Gree-branded products on platforms including Kuaishou, Douyin, JD.com and Sunning.
Despite preliminary success in livestreamed e-commerce, the well-known businesswoman has promised not to abandon Gree’s 30,000 brick-and-mortar dealers and the employees running its offline stores, as Gree pushes forward with its “new retail” strategy aimed at integrating online and offline channels.
Contact reporter Ding Yi (firstname.lastname@example.org)