Prosus group trading profit rose in H1, e-commerce losses widen

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Prosus is diplayed at Amsterdam's stock exchange building as Prosus begins trading on the Euronext stock exchange in Amsterdam, Netherlands, September 11, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw/File Photo

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) -Prosus NV reported on Monday that trading profit rose 8% to $2.9 billion for the first half of its fiscal year 2022 as its portfolio of investments in educational technology and food delivery companies grew revenues rapidly.

It gave a comparable figure of $2.7 billion for the same period a year ago.

On Nov. 16, Prosus had said core profits would be up 5% to 12% on a per-share basis for the six months that ended on Sept. 30.

Prosus said in a news release its "e-commerce portfolio" had grown revenues by 53% to $4.2 billion, while that segment's trading loss increased to $372 million from a trading loss of $214 million in the same period a year ago.

"E-commerce" comprises a group of businesses that Prosus owns in classified advertising, food delivery, educational technology and fintech and payments.

“In the first half of the year, our internet businesses delivered solid growth compounding a strong performance for the same period last year," CEO Bob van Dijk said in a statement.

Prosus, sometimes compared to SoftBank and its Vision Fund, owns stakes in a large range of consumer internet companies. Its e-commerce portfolio does not include its most valuable investment, a $175 billion stake in Tencent Holdings, the Chinese internet gaming and social media company.

Returns at Tencent dominate Prosus's group returns, and Prosus recorded net profit of $15.9 billion, up from $2.89 billion in the same period a year ago, boosted by its April sale of a $15 billion stake in Tencent.

In August, Prosus set up a cross-holding structure with Naspers of South Africa, under which Prosus shareholders own 60% of the companies' underlying assets but Naspers retains control. They share a single board.

(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Kim Coghill and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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