Liberty Interactive Group said income as a percentage of revenue dropped by more than half in the quarter and nine months ended Sept. 30 at its e-commerce segment, in part due to the lingering impacts of last winter on Backcountry.com.
“Some businesses, like Backcountry, have been hurt by unusually warm weather which has hurt demand for winter sports gear,” said LINTA President and CEO Greg Maffei.
LINTA’s e-commerce revenues increased 13 percent to $278 million in the third quarter over the same period in 2011. All but one of e-commerce businesses reported an increase in revenue for the quarter as a result of increased marketing efforts and increased conversion resulting from site optimization and broader inventory offerings.
However, adjusted OIBDA (revenues less costs of sales, operating expenses and selling, general and administrative expenses, excluding stock compensation) decreased 56 percent to $4 million, or 1.4 percent of revenue in the quarter, compared to $9 million, or 3.6 percent in the year earlier period. The decrease in adjusted OIBDA was the result of increased spending in paid search as a percentage of revenue, increased promotional activity to move seasonal inventory and lower advertising revenue due to pricing and a shift to mobile applications.
Operating income decreased to a loss of $56 million in the third quarter, due primarily to an impairment of goodwill at Celebrate Interactive, where operating results continued to decline in the third quarter. Celebrate Interactive operates the leading online invitation and social event planning service on the web, Evite.com and the #1 gift recommendation site, Gifts.com as well as BuySeasons Inc., Buycostumes.com, CelebrateExpress.com, BirthdayExpress.com and CostumeExpress.com.
LINTA’s does not break out performances by its individual e-commerce businesses, but Maffei called out Bodybuilding.com as an example of one business that is performing very well.
LINTA’s e-commerce businesses include Provide Commerce (perishable goods and upscale personalized gifts), Backcountry.com, Bodybuilding.com, Celebrate Interactive, CommerceHub, MotoSport and Right Start. The company’s primary holding is QVC, which generated $1.89 billion, or 88 percent of the company’s revenue, in the third quarter. LINTA also owns 36 percent of HSN, Inc (Home Shopping Network), 26 percent of Expedia and 18 percent of TripAdvisor, Inc.