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MercadoLibre beats revenue estimates on online shopping boost

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Aug 4 (Reuters) - South American e-commerce giant MercadoLibre Inc on Wednesday beat analysts' estimates for quarterly revenue, as the region adapts to shopping largely online amid the pandemic.

Net revenue for the second quarter ended June 30 jumped 93.9% to $1.70 billion, well above expectation of $1.48 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Revenue growth in Brazil and Mexico more than doubled, while in Argentina, where the company is based out of, it was 53%.

One of the biggest beneficiaries during the pandemic, MercadoLibre has pumped investments to build warehouses and expand its fintech services as competition from the likes of Amazon.com Inc and homegrown brands like Magazine Luiza increases.

"Our business is showing tremendous momentum despite immense volatility in our key markets due to the frequent closing of physical retail across Latin America," Chief Financial Officer Pedro Arnt said in a statement.

During the pandemic, young shoppers in Latin America have shifted to shop and make financial transactions online, making the region an attractive and fast-growing market for e-commerce players.

The competition led Amazon to offer its Prime subscribers free one-day delivery in 50 Brazilian cities, about two years after the service's launch in the country. Previously, Prime users in Brazil had access to free two-day shipping with the option of paying extra for one-day delivery.

MercadoLibre, which also offers payment solutions, said commerce revenue rose 96.4%, while fintech revenue jumped 88.9%.

Active users were up about 47%, reaching 75.9 million, the Buenos Aires-based company said.

Net income rose to $68.2 million, or $1.37 per share, from about $56 million, or $1.11 per share, a year earlier. (Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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