Profits Slide at Lifull in Q2 as Japanese Market Recovery Remains Slow

May 13, 2022
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The Japanese real estate marketplace operator Lifull has announced the results of its operations for the six months ending March 31st. Notable figures from the company's report include:

  • Revenue for the 6 month period was up 1.1% at $139 million
  • Net profit dropped sharply by -81% to $1.4 million. The operating income margin dropped from 10% to 2.9%
  • SG&A expenses up considerably as marketing increased for the domestic portal

Lifull's flagship domestic portal HOME'S has been heavily affected by the country's pandemic restrictions and revenues remained sluggish at around the same levels of the comparison period. The company upped the marketing of the portal significantly (marketing expenses were up 15% y-o-y) in the period to try to engage Japanese home movers during the traditionally busy period of January to March but to little avail.

Aside from a domestic portal operation, which is a challenger to market-leader Suumo, Lifull also runs portal businesses around the world as well as the aggregator group Lifull Connect which it reports in its 'Overseas' segment.

The performance of the company's Overseas assets was up year on year for the half-year period as the firm integrates the recently acquired South American portal group Properati into its portfolio. Revenue for the segment was up 10% ($27.5 million) while profits were down -28% ($4 million) thanks to the capitalization of the acquisition.

There were some other slight positives scattered in the company's missive to the market. Although the 6 month ARPA of its domestic portal was down -4.2% (around $595), its client network increased by 1.4% to over 26,000 as a result of its marketing.

Thanks to its latest poor set of results, Lifull has been forced to update its guidance for the financial year. While the plan to overhaul the functionality of HOME'S  and the plan for its Overseas division remain on track, there are headwinds to deal with. Domestically the delayed market recovery is hampering business while its aggregators (Mitula, Nestoria, Trovit, Nuroa) are being affected by a downward trend in AdSense revenue.

May 13, 2022
Edmund got to know the world of portals and marketplaces working at Mitula Group (which became Lifull Connect after the buyout in 2018). He worked directly with hundreds of portals across the world in his role in the content department for three and a half years before transferring to the SEO department to understand the inner workings of listings sites. He joined Online Marketplaces as Head of Content in March 2020.

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