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Singapore’s PropertyGuru posts net loss for third quarter

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Private homes within the River Valley/Orchard area in Singapore. Returning Singaporeans and expatriates have driven rental demand in Singapore, in response to PropertyGuru’s CFO.

Lauryn Ishak | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Singapore-based online property portal PropertyGuru posted a net lack of $7.4 million Singapore dollars ($5.3 million) for the quarter ended Sept. 30 — down from last quarter’s net profit of SG$3.8 million.

But that is still lower than the online lack of SG$9.6 million in the identical period a 12 months ago, and third quarter revenue grew by 47% 12 months on 12 months.

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Meanwhile, adjusted EBITDA for the third quarter improved to positive SG$5.7 million, up from an adjusted EBITDA lack of SG$1.5 million in the identical period a 12 months ago. EBITDA is a measure of profitability that shows earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

“Our third quarter results illustrate that PropertyGuru has been capable of produce strong business performance at the same time as a few of our core markets have begun to face headwinds from the difficult economic conditions being experienced across the globe,” said Hari Krishnan, PropertyGuru Group’s CEO and managing director.

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Within the earnings call Monday night, Krishnan cited difficult conditions similar to Singapore’s rising taxes and stamp duties. In Vietnam, credit for purchasing homes is now harder to access, he said.

The web portal provides information across the Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam marketplaces.

‘We remain bullish’

“Even with short term macro headwinds, we remain bullish on the long run prospects for PropertyGuru,” said Joe Dische, the group’s CFO.

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

“We have seen some good activity in Malaysia. The federal government has been supportive of lower-end and inexpensive homes. There have been some measures taken type of prior to the recent election, to have some type of stamp duty concessions … kicking in for first-time buyers. So we’re definitely seeing some motion being taken there to support the market,” he said.

Finance Minister Zafrul Aziz had said in a budget speech to Parliament in early October that the country will raise stamp duty exemption to 75% from 50% on first home purchases.

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He said returning Singaporeans and expatriates, in addition to delays in public housing construction and renovation works throughout the earlier stages of the pandemic, have driven rental demand in Singapore.

Vietnam, alternatively, has been cracking down on speculative activity, making it difficult for people to access credit, said Dische.

“This does have a knock-on impact on the unusual one that is attempting to purchase a property. But I feel there was some motion against that speculation which drives inflation in those markets. As affordability drops, some people will wait and see and move into the rental market, increasing prices and demand,” he added.

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

PropertyGuru shares are down 39% since its listing.

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