51Talk posts sixth consecutive quarterly earnings, names new brand ambassador

BEIJING, May 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- 51Talk (China Online Education Group, NYSE: COE), China's leading online education platform announced its unaudited financial results for the first quarter of 2021 on May 17, 2021.

As the first online English education platform listed in the United States in 2016, 51Talk registered a non-GAAP net income of RMB 16.8 million and its GAAP net income is RMB 8 million, amounting to the company's sixth consecutive quarter of profitability.

The company's first quarter net revenues maintained a strong growth momentum and grew 23.3 percent year-over-year to reach RMB 600 million. The gross margin was 73.4 percent, compared to the 70.4 percent for the first quarter of 2020.

"Starting off 2021 with such a solid financial and operating performance is well within our expectations," said Xu Min, Chief Financial Officer of 51Talk.

"I am pleased to report that in addition to robust growth in net revenues, we delivered another profitable quarter with GAAP net income of RMB8.0 million and non-GAAP net income of RMB16.8 million, primarily resulting from significantly higher lesson consumption and improved operating efficiency," said Xu.

"In order to keep the company on track for healthy growth and profitability, we are proactively refining our operations to maintain high efficiency at all levels, ultimately stimulating student growth and brand awareness, as a leading and dependable online education platform in China," Xu added.

Filipino online English teachers at 51Talk's core, both in services and reputation

K-12 one-on-one mass market offering has been the pillar of 51Talk's market success since it shifted its focus on children English education in 2018.

The K-12 one-on-one mass market offering refers to the teaching method that enables Filipino teachers to provide one-to-one lessons to Chinese children ages five to 12 years old.

"Remarkably, our net revenues from K12 one-on-one mass market offering grew 36.0 percent compared to first quarter last year," said Jack Jiajia Huang, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of 51Talk, adding that the performance was mainly driven by an increase in the number of active students.

The number of active students reached 393,000, which is a 37 percent increase compared to the same period in 2020.

Huang believed that the massive opportunity still existed in K12 one-on-one mass market with the growing acceptance of online education in China.

In addition to the platform's fiscal success, 51Talk has also achieved national-level recognition for its efforts over the past years in promoting Sino-Philippine people-to-people exchanges.

At the 2021 Boao Forum for Asia, China's state media Xinhua News Agency has featured the story of 51Talk teacher Lydon Bacon whose job was affected because of the pandemic. Bacon thanked Chinese companies like 51Talk who helped provide livelihood opportunities in the Philippines.

Xinhua also described 51Talk teachers in the Philippines as a new face of the bilateral educational and cultural cooperation with China.

Top Filipino celebrity named 51Talk brand ambassador

On May 12, 51Talk announced the actress Maine Mendoza as its latest face. Being the 2017 most tweeted Filipino celebrity in the world, Mendoza enjoys wide influence on the internet, earning her title as the Social Media Queen.

According to Mendoza, 51Talk offers Filipinos the option of teaching from home, providing an opportunity to earn a living at home, and in turn, spend more time with their family members.

"51Talk has the best training systems so whether you'll be teaching full time or part time, you will be ready to hold classes in the comforts of your home in no time," the 26-year-old actress said.

"Maine Mendoza is a well-known Filipino actress and social media influencer. Her appointment can further strengthen our brand recognition in the country. I look forward to continuing to execute our mission to deliver long term benefits to all stakeholders," said Huang.

The actress' identity has been a hot topic of interest in social media, with the hashtag #MaineFor51Talk trending on Twitter, reaching more than 30,000 tweets in the Philippines.

A research report on China's K-12 online education industry co-released by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ipsos Group in March reveal that 51Talk has outperformed 16 of its competitors while holding 54 percent of the market share in the online English education sector.

Founded in 2011, 51Talk is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. At the annual strategic meeting held in Beijing last March, 51Talk announced to build a comprehensive yet tailor-made English education system, while committing to empowering its learners with qualified teaching resources and teachers.