PropertyGuru Profitable in Q4 After Tough Decisions

March 1, 2024
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The Singapore-based real estate marketplace operator PropertyGuru has released a report on its activities for the fourth quarter of 2023. Notable points from the report include:

  • Revenue grew 11% in 2023 to stand at S$150 million.
  • Adjusted EBITDA was S$19 million for the year, up from S$3 million in 2022.
  • PropertyGuru made a net profit of S$1 million in Q4 compared to a net loss of S$5 million in the comparison quarter.

PropertyGuru operates real estate portals in five markets in Southeast Asia. The Singapore-based company is dominant in its lucrative home market and also holds market-leading positions in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The results represent an uptick for PropertyGuru, especially with regard to profitability. The fourth quarter of 2023 was the second consecutive quarter with a net profit and only the third reporting period of net profit since the company floated on the NYSE back in 2022.

Commenting on the results, PropertyGuru CEO, Hari Krishnan said:

“Our 2023 results demonstrate our ability to navigate challenging macro-economic conditions and our commitment to profitability. We delivered double-digit revenue growth and a double-digit Adjusted EBITDA margin for the full year. This is a clear testament to our ability to create value for our customers and help property-seekers achieve their home-ownership goals."

PropertyGuru's improved bottom line has come at a cost. The company pulled out of Indonesia and shuttered its Saas-based developer sales platform FastKey in August. Earlier this week news also surfaced of significant job losses at the company's struggling Vietnamese business.

Krishnan's comments accompanying today's press release made mention of PropertyGuru's tough decisions and thanked the employees set to lose their jobs.

"We continue to make proactive changes to build a sustainable, future-proofed business. Following our principle to make focused investments in our identified priorities, we have undertaken a strategic step towards re-architecting our organisation. This will ensure we have set our investment levels commensurate to the opportunity presented, with the right efficiencies to deliver scalable profitable growth for years to come.

We acknowledge that this change is not easy on everyone and extend our heartfelt gratitude to the impacted Gurus for their contributions to the Group and wish them the very best for the next chapter in their careers."

The decision to prioritise its more profitable operations comes amid sustained macroeconomic headwinds in Vietnam and Malaysia. While PropertyGuru's operations in Singapore continue to see healthy growth (revenue was up 23% and ARPA was up 22% in Q4), Malaysian revenues were flat and adversely impacted by the depreciation of the local currency.

Revenues from PropertyGuru's leading Vietnamese marketplace (Batdongsan) were down 22% in Q4 and down 29% for the year as a reduction in the number of listings was partially offset by an increase in the average revenue per listing.

The company's FinTech and Data segment, for which PropertyGuru held high hopes in its IPO prospectus, only merited one short sentence in the company's Q4 reporting and could be next on the chopping block. The segment saw revenues decrease 10% year-on-year in Q4 and drop 20% for the year as a whole.

The outlook for PropertyGuru remains challenging in Vietnam and Malaysia but the company remains confident of its prospects and those of the region as a whole. CFO, Joe Dische outlined a full-year 2024 revenue outlook of S$165 million to S$180 million and a full-year Adjusted EBITDA outlook of S$22 million to S$26 million.

March 1, 2024
Since March 2020 Edmund's job has been to read about, write about, collect data on, analyse and generally know about real estate marketplaces and the companies that run them. Before that he worked at the aggregator Mitula Group (which became Lifull Connect) for five years.

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