Groupon shares dive 30% after revenues disappoint

Groupon staff in front of logo Groupon shares have fallen sharply since the company floated in November last year

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Shares in US online voucher firm Groupon have slumped 30% after its third quarter revenues fell short of analysts' forecasts.

Revenues for the July-to-September period were $569m (£356m), up 32% from a year earlier, but still below Wall Street expectations of about $590m.

The company reported a net loss of $3m (£1.9m) for the quarter.

"Our solid performance in North America was offset by continued challenges in Europe," said chief Andrew Mason.

The 30% fall in Groupon's shares left them at a record low of $2.76 each.

The company was launched on the stock market last November at $20-a-share, one of a series of dotcom flotations during 2011.

But since then, questions have been raised about the business model, while the eurozone debt crisis has been blamed for denting consumer demand for some of Groupon's deal.

Groupon offers coupons to its subscribers, which give them discount deals that are available that day only on anything from restaurant meals to spa treatments.

Revenues from international operations, including Europe but excluding North America, rose 3% to $277m. That compared with an 80% surge in North American revenue to $292m.

"Europe is taking it on the chin," said Sameet Sinha, an analyst at B Riley & Co.

However, Mr Mason remained optimistic about the future, saying in a statement that the forthcoming holiday season would be great for business.

The company also said on Thursday that it was cutting about 80 jobs, mainly in sales, as part of an effort to automate and streamline the way its daily deals are sourced and distributed.

Adding to the difficulties, the US Securities and Exchange Commission has been looking into Groupon's accounting and disclosures to the stock market.

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