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Shopee parent company Sea Group widens net losses to USD 1.46 billion in 2019

So far, the group’s business has not been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

On Tuesday, Sea Group reported strong growth for its digital entertainment and e-commerce arms despite widening net losses for the company as a whole.

According to Sea’s fourth quarter and year-end earnings reports for 2019, the firm’s total adjusted revenue reached USD 2.9 billion, a significant raise compared to USD 1 billion in 2018. However, net losses widened to USD 1.46 billion in 2019, increasing by 57% from the prior year.

Garena, Sea’s digital entertainment arm, continues to be the star performer among Sea’s business units. Garena recorded an adjusted revenue of USD 1.8 billion for 2019, a leap from USD 661 million for the full year of 2018.

According to Sea, which cited data from App Annie, Garena’s proprietary battle royale game Free Fire was world’s most downloaded mobile game in 2019. The game has recently hit 60 million daily active users. In November 2019, Sea said Free Fire has grossed over USD 1 billion worldwide, placing Sea Group co-founder Gang Ye in the billionaires club.

Popular e-commerce marketplace Shopee achieved 1.2 billion orders in 2019, with a GMV of USD 17.6 billion. For Shopee, adjusted EBITDA loss per order decreased to USD 0.86 in 2019, compared USD 1.42 in the year before. Shopee, however, still posted a total EBITDA loss of USD 1 billion in 2019.

Speaking during an earnings call with investors, Yanjun Wang, group chief corporate officer for Sea, said the company has seen no immediate financial impact from the coronavirus outbreak.

“As you can see from our revenue guidance for e-commerce, we budget for 80–90% year-on-year growth still. And of course, if this virus situation becomes an extended issue that impacts global supply chain or regional economy as a whole, we might become similarly impacted,” she said.

Wang, however, noted that Shopee “does take more of a lion’s share in terms of the demand that might come online” when it comes to FMCG or cleaning categories. When asked about Shopee’s burn rate, she said that the e-commerce platform will continue maximizing market leadership, which will eventually lead to “better profitability and competitive modes in the longer run.”

Another notable addition for Sea in 2019 was SeaMoney, the overall brand for the group’s digital financial services. The company said it has been working to integrate the e-wallet services of SeaMoney with Shopee across different markets.

SeaMoney is an important component for Sea’s bid for a digital banking license in Singapore.