PropertyGuru reports $5.3 million net loss for the third quarter

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Singapore (Commonwealth Union)_ PropertyGuru, a Singapore-based online property platform, reported a net loss of $7.4 million Singapore dollars ($5.3 million) for the quarter ended September 30 — a decrease from the previous quarter’s net profit of SG$3.8 million. However, this is still less than the net loss of SG$9.6 million in the same period last year, as third-quarter revenue increased by 47% year on year.

Meanwhile, adjusted EBITDA for the third quarter was positive SG$5.7 million, up from a loss of SG$1.5 million in the same period last year. EBITDA is a profitability metric that displays earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation.

“Our third quarter results show that PropertyGuru has been able to produce strong business performance even as some of our core markets have begun to face headwinds from the challenging economic conditions being experienced globally,” said Hari Krishnan, CEO and managing director of PropertyGuru Group. Krishnan mentioned challenging conditions such as Singapore’s increased taxes and stamp duties on the results call Monday night. Credit for property purchases is becoming more difficult to obtain in Vietnam, he claims.

The internet portal provides information for the markets of Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

“Even with short-term macro headwinds, we remain confident on PropertyGuru’s long-term prospects,” said Joe Dische, the company’s CFO. He discussed property market developments in Malaysia and Singapore in an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box Asia on Tuesday. “There has been some positive activity in Malaysia. The government has been supportive of lower-cost housing. Prior to the current election, various measures were taken to have some form of stamp duty concessions… kick in for first-time buyers. So there is obviously some action being taken to assist the market,” he said.

In an early October budget statement to Parliament, Finance Minister Zafrul Aziz stated that the country will increase stamp duty exemption on first property purchases from 50% to 75%. He claims that rental demand in Singapore has been boosted by returning Singaporeans and expatriates, as well as delays in public housing building and repair operations during the early stages of the pandemic.

In contrast, Vietnam has cracked down on speculative activity, making it difficult for people to obtain credit, according to Dische. “This has repercussions for the average person looking to buy a home. However, I believe there has been some action taken against the speculation that causes inflation in those markets. As affordability declines, some people will wait and watch before entering the rental market, driving up prices and demand,” he noted.

Sendhelper, a Singapore-based home services technology start-up, was the company’s first post-listing acquisition in October. In March, PropertyGuru went public on the New York Stock Exchange. PropertyGuru shares have fallen 39% since their initial public offering.

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