China's Meituan beats Q2 estimates with slowest growth in two years

BEIJING, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Chinese food delivery company Meituan (3690.HK) on Friday reported a 16.4% rise in quarterly revenue from a year earlier, its slowest quarterly growth in two years, but better than analysts' estimates.

China experienced a rise in COVID-19 cases in March and April that prompted lockdowns in several cities, including the commercial hub Shanghai, disrupting supply chains and businesses and hitting consumer spending.

The curbs affected Meituan's delivery services and forced many vendors to shut.

Revenue nevertheless rose to 50.94 billion yuan ($7.42 billion) for the quarter ended in June, beating the 48.59 billion yuan expected on average by 14 analysts, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

Meituan and other companies say their businesses started to revive in June as COVID curbs eased, but the prospect of more lockdowns remains as outbreaks emerge, including in Sanya, a popular beach resort town that can generate high levels of business.

Meituan, whose services also include movie-ticketing and bike-sharing, said its loss for the quarter narrowed to 1.12 billion yuan, from 3.36 billion yuan a year earlier.

Sales from new initiatives, including its community e-commerce business Meituan Select, grew by 40.7% year on year to 14.16 billion yuan.

Revenue from core local commerce, which includes food delivery and in-store, hotel and travel businesses, rose 9.2% to 36.78 billion yuan.

Analysts say China's policy to cut all transmission chains for the coronavirus means Meituan will take longer to achieve a rebound in its offline in-store and hotel operations.

China's tech companies reported weak results for the April-June period as they struggle with the economic slowdown and Beijing's regulatory crackdown.

Reuters reported last week that gaming giant and Meituan shareholder Tencent (0700.HK) plans to sell all or the majority of its $24 billion stake in Meituan, a report that Tencent called inaccurate. read more

($1 = 6.8623 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Yingzhi Yang and Brenda Goh; Editing by Jason Neely, William Mallard, Tomasz Janowski and Barbara Lewis

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