SF Intra-city reports annual results

China’s largest third-party on-demand delivery service provider recorded a profit for the year that met market expectations

  • SF Intra-city reported revenue of 12.4 billion in 2023, up 21.1%, with an increase of over 30% in the order volume, and net profit of 64.9 million yuan
  • The company’s gross profit increased by 94%, reaching 794.7 million yuan, and its gross profit margin rose by 2.4 percentage points to 6.4%.


Riding on the constant advancement of technology and changes in consumption habits in recent years, online shopping has gained increasing prevalence in China. The popularity of online shopping has created a favorable market environment for the on-demand delivery industry. In 2023, the scale of on-demand delivery orders recorded relatively significant growth, with approximately 40.88 billion orders, which represented a year-on-year increase of 22.8%.

Shift in consumption behaviors drives thriving on-demand delivery industry

Consumer behaviors have shifted, especially post-pandemic, from shopping in brick-and-mortar stores to online consumption. That has ushered in a golden age for the on-demand delivery industry, as demonstrated by SF Intra-city’s (9699.HK) 2023 results. The company recorded remarkable growth in both delivery for merchants (2B) and consumers (2C) as well as last-mile delivery business, which brought in solid revenue of 12.4 billion yuan. This was mainly due to the continued growth in consumer demand for food and beverage takeaways, while the consumption habit for on-demand delivery extended to the retail industry. Consumption beyond the food and beverage industry also maintained robust growth. Cooperation with key account customers has strengthened, the scale of annual active merchants and consumers has expanded, and the company has deepened its penetration into city and county markets, especially at the county level. During the period, county-level revenue grew by 147% year-on-year.

Strengthened collaboration with top-end merchants and precise positioning

SF Intra-city has established a positive brand image over the last few years and is, therefore, able to strengthen its long-term cooperation with existing clients and to draw customers with great potential, including DouYin Supermarket, WeChat takeaway delivery locator and Didi Fast Delivery. The growth momentum for key account customers has been strong. Revenues from newly contracted clients maintained double-digit growth, the proportion of chain customers increased, and business stability was enhanced. During the year, the company worked with branded merchants including Chagee, Molly Tea, Taobao Groceries and Nepstar. SF Intra-city improved its service differentiation by focusing on key industries, as well as festivals and holidays. For example, in promotions launched during the summer holidays and festive seasons, SF Intra-city concentrated on serving tea and beverage customers, resulting in a doubling of the average daily order volume during those periods. Meanwhile, in the pharmaceutical sector, the company focused on two core healthcare consumer sectors, namely, pharmaceutical new retail and internet hospitals, to enhance its capabilities. In corporate services, SF Intra-city leveraged its strength in rider resources to flexibly apply its service for scenarios such as grocery sorting and information gathering. In 2023, revenue for tea delivery recorded 75% year-on-year growth, while retail categories such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, maternity and newborn care products, pets and jewelry posted double-digit year-on-year growth.

Captured new market opportunities to achieve business growth

The company deepened its understanding of consumer needs and proactively seized new opportunities in the market. In addition to demand for errand-type services in daily life, order volume peaked with large demand for gift delivery on the platform around holidays. Meanwhile, the company also strengthened its service capability in central business districts (CBDs) and office areas to ensure high quality pick-up and delivery experience and delivery safety through standardizing riders’ images, equipment, speech and delivery operations. Order volume in business scenarios increased by 27% year-on-year. Through channel partnerships, SF Intra-city increased its touchpoints with intra-city express delivery users, allowing consumers to choose “delivery within the hour” service on the user interface when placing orders to meet the need for faster deliveries.

Last year, SF Intra-city boosted its acquisition efficiency and new user conversion rates through various means aimed at target customers, such as new user acquisition activities, discount promotions, community operations, and city events. The number of annual active consumers expanded by nearly 20.5 million.

Last-mile delivery business grew by 36%, demonstrating strong momentum

During the period, revenue from the company’s last-mile delivery business increased by 36% to 5 billion yuan, showing significant growth momentum. It has benefitted from the use of its flexible hour-/minute-level distribution network to meet the need from traditional logistics services to speed up, and has expanded its service offerings within the context of swiftly providing diversified transfer and speedy door-to-door pickup services, including “parcels collection,” “delivery within half a day,” and “delivery within an hour,” resulting in rapid year-on-year growth in revenue. Furthermore, the scale of cooperation with and the proportion of deliveries for major customers increased steadily, while the company played to its strength of intrinsic flexibility. The business volume during peak periods such as the Lunar New Year, and the “618” and “Double 11” shopping festivals, achieved year-on-year growth, with record-breaking peak delivery volumes. With the rapid improvement of new business models and urban delivery service networks, and rising consumer demand for timely and convenient delivery services, this business segment is expected to continue to thrive.

Presented with the opportunity of a flourishing on-demand delivery market and changes in consumption habits, the industry-leading SF Intra-city will continue to benefit from the industry’s dividend era and improve its profitability. As consumers’ demand for on-demand delivery constantly grows, SF Intra-city, as a leading delivery service provider, will be able to make the most of market opportunities and increase its market share. The company will continue to strengthen its on-demand delivery network and service capabilities to meet consumer demand for fast and convenient delivery services. Moreover, SF Intra-city will actively respond to changes in consumption habits and keep adjusting and improving its business model to adapt to the ever-changing market environment. Through ceaseless innovation and service quality enhancement, SF Intra-city will continue to maintain its position as an industry leader and achieve sustained revenue growth.

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