FinVolution Group Q3 2023 Earnings Call Transcript

FinVolution Group reported its Q3 2023 earnings, highlighting their local focus and global expansion strategy. They have served over 29 million borrowers in China, Indonesia, and the Philippines, and are expanding into additional countries. They have been investing in R&D and have made progress with their AI-powered chatbot, BLU. Despite macro uncertainties, their total transaction volume grew to RMB 51 billion, with a stable borrower base.
Nov. 26, 2023 13:01
FinVolution Group Q3 2023 Earnings Call Transcript

FinVolution Group (NYSE:FINV) Q3 2023 Earnings Call Transcript November 21, 2023

Operator: Hello, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for participating in the Third Quarter 2023 Earnings Conference Call for FinVolution Group. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. After management's prepared remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. Today's conference is being recorded. I'll now turn the call over to your host, Jimmy Tan, Head of Investor Relations for the Company. Please go ahead.

Jimmy Tan: Hello, everyone, and welcome to our third quarter 2023 earnings conference call. The Company results were issued via Newswire services earlier today and are posted online. You can download the earnings release and sign up for the Company's e-mail alerts by visiting the IR section of our website at ir.finvgroup.com. Mr. Tiezheng Li, our Chief Executive Officer; and Jiayuan Xu, our Chief Financial Officer, will start the call with their prepared remarks and conclude with a Q&A session. During this call we will be referring to several non-GAAP financial measures to review and assess our operating performance. These non-GAAP financial measures are not intended to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for the financial information prepared and presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP.

For information about these non-GAAP measures and reconciliation to GAAP measures, please refer to our earnings press release. Before we continue, please note that today's discussion will contain forward-looking statements made under the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. As such, the Company's results may be materially different from the views expressed today. Further information regarding these and other risks and uncertainties are included in the Company filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, except as required under applicable law.

Finally, we posted a slide presentation on our IR website providing details of our results for the quarter. I will now turn the call over to our CEO, Mr. Tiezheng Li. Please go ahead, sir.

Tiezheng Li: Thanks, Jimmy. Hello, everyone. And thank you for joining our earnings call. This is Tiezheng Li, CEO of FinVolution Group. We are happy to speak with you today. During the third quarter, we steadily executed our local focus, global outlook strategy. We are strengthening our efforts to build our business throughout the Pan-Asian region. Cumulatively, we are proud to [indiscernible] serve over 29 million borrowers in China, Indonesia and the Philippines. As we continue to expand our presence in these countries, we have tapped more deeply into our leading [results] and are now successfully deploying from [indiscernible]. Now our regional funding partners can now support our loan facilitation operations across different countries, greatly improving our capability to serve more borrowers in our markets.

We plan to leverage and replicate this success as we expand into additional countries while strengthening our presence in existing markets. China's post-COVID economic recovery continued to progress gradually during the third quarter, with macro data reflecting uneven improvement in different areas. For instance, in September, the consumer confidence index came up slightly to 87 points but is still hovering at a relatively low levels. Also, according to data from the national statistical bureau, employment rate officially peaked at 5.3% in July before trending down to 5% in September, although there has been some moderate recovery in the consumption market. The bulk of the recovery has been in children's education, above medical, health care, domestic travel and other off-line activities.

Purchase intention for big ticket items such as property, cars and luxury goods remain relatively weak. Meanwhile, the overall macro environment in Indonesia, our largest overseas market, remained robust as the region is in a faster stage of development. For instance, Indonesia's consumer confidence index from August to October remained high at about 125 points, a positive indicator for increasing consumer spending. Its unemployment rate in September also declined to 5.3% compared with 5.9% in the same period last year, its lowest level since the first quarter of 2020. Thus far, our tactical approach of maintaining prudent progressive growth in China market, we are pursuing rapid growth in the international market has proven very effective and in the current uneven micro conditions we have observed.

We are waiting for China's economy to recover at a faster rate. We have been constantly investing in R&D to further streamline our processes. We have customer experience and achieve operational efficiency improvements. Since 2018, we have deployed around RMB2.4 billion to develop cutting-edge technologies and implement them throughout our business operations. In particular, we made notable progress with BLU, our AI-powered chatbot, which now supports operations in six different countries with five language options: Chinese, English, Tagalog, Bahasa and Spanish. Furthermore, by integrating BLU with our human loan collection personnel for [data] and reminder calls, we have achieved cost savings of up to 80%, while maintaining our pertaining certain cost efficiency levels.

BLU's effectiveness was -- again showcases our R&D progress as well as our ability to improve operational efficiency. It's programmatic yet innovative type that can be seamlessly applied in our operations across different markets. The beginning of AI, we continue to leverage AIGC to boost social media engagement for our overseas business, increasing our campaigns' audience targeting accuracy and achieving greater visibility on leading social media platforms. Thanks to our engaging AIGC-driven advertisement and the inventive use of technology. Our followers on Facebook surpassed the 1 million milestone. Now our followers on TikTok grew to around 740,000. As always, we continue to promote financial inclusion. A mission that reflects our commitment to social responsibility and support our business goals.

Our average borrowing rate in China maintained stable sequentially, making our products and services accessible to even more borrowers. I'm pleased to report that despite all the macro uncertainties, FinVolution Group's total transaction volume for the third quarter grew to RMB51 billion. While our outstanding loan balance grew to RMB66 billion, representing a year-over-year increase of 13% and 9%, respectively. These results clearly demonstrate that our local focus, global outlook strategy and not only variable, but it is also scalable, which is a critical factor for our future growth. On a related note, I would like to share a brief update on our recent ESG initiatives. Our dedication to sustainability and giving back to society remains at the heart of our corporate values and forms a core part of our identity.

Over the last couple of years, the Company has made several charitable trips to the [indiscernible] area. This year, we donated 350 renewable energy streetlamps to improve infrastructure for the local villages. We also organized a unique school event for children at FinVolution kindergarten, another of our long-standing community projects in the area. Going forward, we will continue to align our ESG and business goals to maximize our positive societal impact to creating value for all of our stakeholders. To summarize, the third quarter of 2023 was not without challenges, but our firm and focused execution of our local focus, global outlook strategy alongside tech innovation empowered our steady progress and strengthened our foundation supporting long-term sustainable growth.

We will continue to embrace inclusion accessibility and technology as we seek to serve borrowers throughout the Pan-Asian region with better financial services. With that, I will now turn the call over to our CFO, Jiayuan Xu, who will discuss our operational and financial results.

Jiayuan Xu: Thank you, Li, and hello, everyone. Welcome to our Third Quarter 2023 Earnings Call. In the interest of time, I will not go through all of the financial line items on this call. Please refer to our earnings release for further details. As Li mentioned, the domestic macro recovery has been gradual and reflects uneven improvements in certain areas. For instance, the official manufacturing purchasing managers' index, PMI, from August through October fluctuated between 49.7, 15.2 and 49.5 points according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on October 31, 2023. Meanwhile, total social financing data in October increased to RMB1.8 trillion, up 9% from the same period last year. Total retail consumption in October increased to RMB4.3 trillion, up 7.6% compared with the same period last year.

Our stable and better-quality borrower base empowered us to maintain steadfast and the resilient operational metrics domestically in the third quarter despite the uneven macro environment. Cumulatively, we have served around 25 million borrowers in China with the number of unique borrowers remaining stable at around 2.3 million. Additionally, our domestic transaction volume reached RMB49 billion, up 11% year-over-year and 8% sequentially. Meanwhile, our outstanding loan balance reached RMB64.6 billion as of September 30, 2023, up 8% year-over-year and 3% sequentially. All these achievements demonstrate our solid standing in the China market and also highlight our unwavering commitment to serving our customers. We continue to employ prudent risk management tactics and effective fraud detection technologies, resulting in only minor fluctuations in our risk levels during the quarter.

Day one delinquency rate was 5.7%, while vintage and delinquency rate is expected to be around 2.4% to 2.5% for the quarter. Going forward, we will continue to monitor the credit risk performance closely and make timely adjustments when necessary. Finally, boosted by the AI-powered chatbot, Li mentioned earlier. Our loan collection team capture the loan collection recovery rate at around 89%. Furthermore, we continue to add new funding partners, bringing our cumulative number to 88 financial institutions with a strong pipeline of potential future partners in place. These operational achievements enabled us to maintain a healthy take rate of around 3.1% during the third quarter. Recognizing the critical role that a small business play in our economy.

We also upheld our commitment to small business owners with unwavering support during this bumpy recovery period. During the third quarter, we served around 448,000 small business owners and facilitated RMB12.3 billion of loans for them, representing an increase of 9% compared with the same period last year and 7% sequentially. Now let me move on to our international expansion efforts. As Li shared, Indonesia, our largest overseas market enjoyed ongoing growth in its macro economy during the third quarter. Sales of motorcycles, the most popular mode of transportation in Indonesia has also accelerated. During the first nine months of 2023 motor bike sales were up 31% compared with the same period of 2022, reaching around 4.7 million units, a positive indication of growing customer spending.

Given these promising trends and the data points, we anticipate the Indonesia's domestic consumption will remain robust. We were pleased to record another quarter of significant improvement in our overseas markets across multiple operational and financial metrics. Cumulatively, we have served over 4 million borrowers in Indonesia and the Philippines and continue to rapidly attract new borrowers in these regions. The number of unique borrowers during the quarter reached another new high at 928,000, up 27% year-over-year and 18% sequentially. Furthermore, we continue to increase the population of institutional funding in Indonesia, and we strengthened our local presence and broaden our local network. For the third quarter, the percentage of loan facilitated for our local financial institutions reached 74% compared with 55% for the same period last year.

As a result, international transaction volume surged by 99% year-over-year and 21% sequentially to RMB2.2 billion for the third quarter. We also set new records in outstanding loan balance at RMB1.3 billion, up 102% year-over-year and 16% sequentially, as well as revenue contribution of RMB585 million, up 67% year-over-year and representing around 18% of total revenue. Leveraging our experience of shifting to better quality borrowers in China, we also take a proactive approach to acquiring better quality borrowers in the Indonesian market. Apart from the online lending business, we are also pilot testing an off-line business model with different consumption scenarios to provide more holistic service for our borrowers. In addition, we are also actively exploring the acquisition of additional license to better support our local operations driven by our dedication to R&D innovation as well as our successful execution of our local focus, global outlook strategy.

Net revenues for the third quarter grew to RMB3.2 billion, up 8% year-over-year and a sequential increase of 4%. Sales and marketing expense increased by 13% sequentially to RMB530 million as we increased our efforts to acquire better quality borrowers through diversified channels. Number of new borrowers in the China market increased by 7% year-over-year and 12% sequentially to 406,000. Notably, the number of new borrowers in the international market increased by 27% year-over-year and 36% sequentially to 423,000. In total, we acquired around 829,000 new borrowers during the third quarter, up 16% year-over-year and 23% sequentially. Net income for the third quarter was RMB575 million, a sequential decrease of 2.6%. Our leverage ratio, which we define as risk-bearing loans divided by shareholders' equity remained stable at 4.1x, indicating future growth potential as the overall macro economy recovers to a healthier state.

Our strong balance sheet and liquidity position continues to enhance shareholders' confidence while providing us optimal flexibility to execute our strategy. In particular, our cash position remains robust with over RMB8.5 billion of cash and short-term liquidity as of the end of September 2023, representing an increase of 58% year-over-year and 4% quarter-over-quarter. We believe our current cash position is sufficient to support our business expansion and return value to our shareholders. Before I conclude, let me briefly update you on our share repurchase program. For the first nine months of the year, we have deployed around USD 66 million to repurchase our shares in the market. As of September 30, 2023, we have cumulatively returned the USD 511 million to our shareholders in the form of share repurchase and the dividend distribution, reflecting our strong commitment to enhancing shareholder value.

In summary. Our solid results for the third quarter are a testament to the effectiveness of our local focus, global outlook strategy. As well as our [indiscernible] business model and technological advantages. We have used our time wisely during China's uneven post-COVID recovery and are poised to be at forefront of the industry when recovery accelerates. Looking ahead, we will remain focused on developing and implementing cutting-edge technology while expanding our healthy customer base, driving growth and creating greater value by making financial service better. With that, I will conclude my prepared remarks. We will now open the call to questions. Operator, please continue.

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