Shopify posts surprise adjusted profit as lockdowns drive merchants online

An employee works at Shopify’s headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, October 22, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

(Reuters) – Canadian e-commerce company Shopify Inc (SHOP.TO) on Wednesday posted a surprise adjusted profit for the first quarter and beat revenue estimates as more users visited its platform after lockdowns led merchants to move their businesses online.

Online retailers have seen higher-than-usual demand during the coronavirus outbreak as governments around the world order people to stay indoors in an effort to contain the spread of the disease.

Gross merchandise volume (GMV), a metric used in the e-commerce sector to measure transaction volumes, surged 46% to $17.4 billion in the quarter, beating estimates of $16.58 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Ottawa-based Shopify posted a net loss of $31.4 million, or 27 cents per share, for the quarter ended March 31, compared with $24.2 million, or 22 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, it earned 19 cents per share, while analysts expected it post a loss of 18 cents.

Total revenue rose 46.6% to $470 million, ahead of analysts’ estimates of $442.9 million.

Reporting by C Nivedita in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath