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Sea reports wider loss on e-commerce investments

Singapore

SEA Ltd, operator of South-east Asia's biggest gaming platform, reported a wider third-quarter loss on rising investments at e-commerce unit Shopee.

Net loss increased to US$218 million in the three months ended Sept 30 from US$132.8 million a year earlier, the company said. Total revenue rose to US$204.9 million from US$94.1 million.

Sea has been struggling to keep its footing since going public in October 2017. The Singapore-based company sold stock in its IPO at US$15 a share. Shares closed in US trading at US$12.11, down 4.7 per cent.

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Revenue at digital entertainment unit Garena increased 41 per cent to US$112.5 million during the quarter, aided by the popularity of Free Fire, the first self-developed hit game at the company.

Revenue at e-commerce unit Shopee increased to US$65.9 million.

Group chief strategy officer Alan Hellawell will depart the company effective Nov 23, according to a statement. Mr Hellawell, a former analyst, has been a key executive to deal with investors since joining the company last year.

Sea announced a deal with Tencent Holdings Ltd this week to publish and distribute Tencent's online games in South-east Asia. The deal gives Garena a five-year right of first refusal to sell Tencent's games, according to a statement.

Sales and marketing expense increased by 37 per cent to US$180.3 million in the third quarter.

Shares in Sea fell 4.7 per cent on Tuesday in New York ahead of the earnings report, and have fallen 9.2 per cent this year. BLOOMBERG