Singapore-based PropertyGuru reports a net loss for the third quarter

Private homes in the River Valley/Orchard area of ​​Singapore. Returning Singaporeans and expatriates have boosted rental demand in Singapore, according to PropertyGuru’s CFO.

Lauryn Ishak | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Online property portal based in Singapore PropertyGuru reported a net loss of S$7.4 million (US$5.3 million) for the quarter ended September. 30 – less than last quarter’s net income of SG$3.8 million.

But that’s still down from the SG$9.6 million net loss for the same period a year ago, and third-quarter revenue rose 47% year over year.

Meanwhile, Adjusted EBITDA for the third quarter improved to a positive SG$5.7 million from an Adjusted EBITDA loss of SG$1.5 million in the same period last year. EBITDA is a measure of profitability that shows earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

“Our third quarter results show that PropertyGuru was able to deliver a strong business performance despite some of our core markets facing headwinds due to the difficult economic conditions prevailing around the world,” said Hari Krishnan, CEO and Managing Director of PropertyGuru Group.

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In Monday night’s earnings conference call, Krishnan cited challenging conditions such as rising taxes and stamp duties in Singapore. In Vietnam, loans to buy houses are now harder to access, he said.

The online portal provides information about the Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam marketplaces.

“We remain optimistic”

“Despite near-term macro headwinds, we remain bullish on the long-term prospects for PropertyGuru,” said Joe Dische, Group CFO.

In an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box Asia on Tuesday, Dische pointed to trends in the property markets in Malaysia and Singapore.

“We’ve seen some good activity in Malaysia. The government has supported cheap and affordable housing. Some action has been taken, sort of before the last election, to have some sort of stamp duty concession… which is for first-time buyers. So we definitely see action being taken there to support the market,” he said.

Finance Minister Zafrul Aziz announced in a budget speech to Parliament in early October that the country would increase the stamp duty exemption from 50% on first home purchases to 75%.

Digitization, growth in medium-sized companies and urbanization are strong tailwinds for us: PropertyGuru CFO

He said the return of Singaporeans and expatriates, along with delays in deliveries of built-to-order apartments and renovations in the earlier stages of the pandemic, had boosted rental demand in Singapore.

Vietnam, on the other hand, is cracking down on speculative activities, which makes it difficult for people to access credit, Dische said.

“This has implications for the average person trying to buy a property. But I think some action has been taken against this speculation that is driving inflation in these markets. If affordability falls, some people will wait and see enter the rental market, which increases prices and demand,” he added.

In October, the company made its first post-listing acquisition – Singapore-based home services technology company Sendhelper. PropertyGuru was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in March.

PropertyGuru shares are down 39% since its listing.

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