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Naspers’s e-commerce revenue outpaces Tencent

By , Senior news journalist
South Africa , 21 Jun 2021
Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk.
Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk.

Naspers has revealed its ballooning e-commerce portfolio is now valued at R546 billion ($39 billion), as the global Internet titan today reported doubled growth for the year ended March, outpacing Tencent.

The company announced blowout e-commerce revenue growth of 55% for the year, outperforming Chinese Internet giant Tencent, which posted 28% revenue growth.

The Cape Town-headquartered Naspers holds a 28.9% stake in Tencent.

Announcing its financial results this morning, the company revealed the valuation of its e-commerce, which lifted the group in the year under review.

“For the first time, we are confirming an independent valuation of our e-commerce portfolio of $39 billion. This is almost double the valuation of a year ago and it has delivered an annual return in excess of 20% since 2008,” says Naspers.

In the year, the consumer Internet company says revenue in its food segment ballooned 127% year-on-year to $1.5 billion, and Naspers’s eMAG, Romania’s largest online retailer, grew revenue 54% year-on-year.

Additionally, Naspers says, despite a challenging start to the year, its classifieds, payments and fintech segments reported solid results, with a sharp recovery to pre-pandemic levels by the second quarter.

It says in the second half of the year, on the back of accelerated growth and “our belief in the sector, we graduated our edtech portfolio from the ventures team. Edtech is now our fourth core segment, alongside food, classifieds, and payments and fintech.

“We continued to invest and innovate, expanding the platforms we have built to provide broader product and service offerings to our customers; for example, offering pay and ship in our large classifieds markets, and extending our food delivery businesses into grocery and convenience delivery and other new verticals. We see huge potential to play an increasingly valuable role in people’s everyday lives in this way.”

Treasure trove

Naspers, which now serves more than two billion users globally, recorded group revenue of $29.6 billion (up 32%), trading profit of $5.6 billion (up 45%) and core headline earnings of $3.5 billion (up 15%).

“We have delivered our strongest results since the listing of Naspers and subsequent listing of Prosus. Group revenue grew by 32% to $29.6 billion, reflecting stellar accelerated revenue growth of 55% year-on-year in our e-commerce portfolio and 28% revenue growth at Tencent. Group trading profit grew 45% to $5.6 billion. Since the start of the year, we have invested around $7 billion to expand our ecosystems and become even more useful to our customers,” says Basil Sgourdos, group CFO of Prosus and Naspers.

“This accelerates growth across our existing portfolio and also plants the seeds of future growth. We also invested in a $5 billion share purchase programme of Naspers and Prosus stock. Post-year-end, to reinforce our balance sheet, we sold a 2% stake in Tencent, reducing our holding to 28.9%. The resulting proceeds of $14.6 billion added financial flexibility to invest in new opportunities to sustain the strong growth and returns embedded in our e-commerce portfolio.”

Since then, Sgourdos says, Naspers has invested a further $2.6 billion in Delivery Hero, which continues to demonstrate global leadership in the nascent and fast-growing food delivery opportunity.

“We also recently announced a $1.8 billion acquisition of Stack Overflow by the newly-established edtech segment, expanding the edtech portfolio and positioning the group well to participate in a new fast-growing and sizeable opportunity.”

Bob van Dijk, group CEO of Prosus and Naspers, says: “In a year of extreme global challenge, we have delivered our strongest results to date and accelerated growth right across our consumer Internet portfolio. Our strategy to reposition the group for an increasingly online world meant we were well-prepared for the acceleration of online adoption through the pandemic.

“I am proud of our companies and teams who have risen to the challenge of serving our customers through difficult times. Today, our businesses are fundamentally stronger than they were going into the pandemic and are very well-positioned going forward. We will continue to invest and innovate to deliver the best experiences for our customers and to maximise the value we create for all of our stakeholders.”

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