RLX Technology reported net revenues of RMB428.1 million ($58.7 million) in the third quarter of 2023, compared with RMB1.04 billion in the same period of 2022. Gross margin was 24.7 percent in the third quarter of 2023, compared with 50 percent in the comparable 2022 quarter. GAAP net income was RMB172.7 million, down from RMB505.2 million in the prior-year period.
“The end of the third quarter of 2023 marked one year since the new regulatory framework for the e-vapor industry came into effect,” said Ying (Kate) Wang, co-founder, chairperson and CEO of RLX Technology, in a statement.
“As a legitimate industry participant, we have remained dedicated to developing our product portfolio to provide adult smokers with compliant, superior-quality products. While we have made some progress with our recovery, we are still facing external challenges, especially the impact of illegal products. We recognize that many users are still unaware of these new regulations, such as flavor restrictions, which has slowed their adoption of the new national standard products.
“To address these near-term obstacles, we will forge ahead with our core strategy: providing a wide variety of quality, compliant products across an extensive range of price points to meet users’ various needs. Meanwhile, we are making efforts to enhance users’ understanding of the new regulations and collaborating with regulators to combat illegal products and create a healthy and orderly market. As a trusted e-vapor brand for adult smokers, we believe that more users will gradually switch to our products as increased awareness of the new regulations and the dangers of substandard, illegal products rises.”
“In the third quarter of 2023, we continued to face significant headwinds due to competition from illegal products,” added RLX Technology Chief Financial Officer Chao Lu. “Against this challenging backdrop, we resolutely executed our strategy and focused on improving profitability, which continues to be our top priority.
“Our strategic cost optimization initiatives have begun to demonstrate positive outcomes, including a consistent reduction in our non-GAAP operating loss and signs of recovery in our non-GAAP net profit margin. Notably, we achieved a second consecutive quarter of positive operating cash flow this quarter, underscoring our business’ resilience in the post-regulatory era. Looking forward, we will remain committed to enhancing our financial performance and delivering sustainable value to our shareholders.”