Naspers’ Takealot suffers big loss

Written on 11/24/2022
Asime Nyide

Naspers’ most significant e-commerce business locally is online retailer Takealot which suffered a loss of $13 million (R223 million).

When Naspers announced it had spent $54.8 million (R786 million) to buy out non-controlling shareholders in Takealot in 2017, South Africa’s largest online retailer. As a result, it held a 100% interest (96% fully diluted) in Takealot. Fast forward 2022, the JSE listed group published its interim results and suffered a loss of $13 million (R223 million) in the six months to end-September. There was hope that the 11-year old company might become profitable in this financial year but now prospects look bleak as the company’s trading margin widened from -1% to -3%. The losses come amid reports that US-based e-commerce giant Amazon is set to open in South Africa taking on the likes of Takealot. This article was first published on MyBroadband – Asime Nyide

Takealot makes R224 million loss

By Hanno Labuschagne

Naspers has published interim results for the first half of its 2023 financial year (H1 FY2023), revealing a significant loss for its Takealot group of ecommerce businesses.

The group consists of general online store Takealot.com, delivery service Mr D, and online clothing store Superbalist.

Naspers said that the gross value of merchandise (GMV) sold to customers by these businesses for the six months ended September 2022 increased by 15%, while revenue grew by 13% compared to the six months ended September 2021.

However, that was when calculated in rand. In US dollars, the Takealot group’s GMV actually decreased slightly from $702 million to $700 million.

In addition, the group incurred a trading loss of $13 million (R224.16 million), substantially worse than the $2 million (R31 million, at the time) it recorded during the first half of its previous financial year.

At that time, it was believed that Takealot was nearing a break-even point and would soon reach profitability following years of losses.

Its performance over the last six months suggests that day might still be some way off.

On its own, the Takealot.com store grew GMV by 15% year-on-year in local currency, with first-party retail sales growing 2% and third-party marketplace sales jumping by 27%.

Naspers said the store’s profitability decreased due to higher fuel surcharges, new warehouse investments, and clearing of inventory at discounted prices.

During the period, Mr D saw orders and GMV increase by 9% and 13%, respectively.

Naspers said this showed the company had maintained a strong presence in South Africa’s main cities.

Mr D also partnered with Pick n Pay to provide on-demand grocery delivery services from several of the retailer’s stores, which it started trialling in August 2022.

Takealot said Mr D would roll out the service across the country in the coming months.

Superbalist also increased GMV by 15%, which Naspers said was achieved despite increasing competition from brick-and-mortar fashion retailers.

A bleak bigger picture

Naspers’s total revenue from its ecommerce operations increased by 38% from $4.2 billion to $5.6 billion. However, its trading loss surged from $524 million to $1 billion, worsening by 64%.

Revenue from food delivery operations across all of Naspers’ international businesses increased from $1.26 billion to $1.91 billion, classifieds surged 36% from $988 million to $1.34 billion, and  payments and fintech jumped from $359 to

But revenue from e-tailing, which includes money made from stores like Takealot.com and Superbalist, decreased from $1.42 billion to $1.24 billion.

Including all of its global businesses, the company recorded a 9% increase in revenue to reach $17 billion, but trading profits were halved from $2.8 billion in H1 FY2022 to $1.4 billion in H1 FY2023.

Core headline earnings per share also dropped from US¢394 to US¢174.

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