Feb 4, 2023
Paytm Posts Narrower Loss After Growth Push Boosts Sales
(Bloomberg) -- Paytm, India’s leading digital payments brand, posted a narrower third-quarter loss after its drive to add customers boosted revenue.
The net loss in the quarter through December shrank to 3.9 billion rupees ($48 million) from 7.8 billion rupees a year earlier, the company said in a statement on Friday. Revenue from operations rose 42% to 20.6 billion rupees, while total costs climbed at a slower pace.
Paytm is growing its product offering to attract more customers, seeking to convince investors of its earnings potential. Its shares have plunged 76% since its high-profile $2.5 billion initial public offering in late 2021, on concerns over mounting losses and intensifying competition from Alphabet Inc.’s Google Pay, Amazon.com Inc.’s Amazon Pay and Walmart Inc.’s PhonePe, and several smaller fintech startups.
In a July interview, Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma pledged a shift in focus from growth toward profitability.
“We will soon achieve our next milestone of becoming a free cash flow generating company,” Sharma said in a letter to shareholders Friday.
Paytm’s backers include Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. and China’s Ant Group Co. The stock price has been volatile in recent months after a one-year lock-in for certain shareholders expired on Nov. 15, freeing them to reduce their holdings. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. sold a 3% stake in the company in January, after SoftBank cut its stake in November. A buyback Paytm announced in December did little to reassure investors.
On Friday, Paytm disclosed that Ant executive Douglas Feagin had quit the board, citing Paytm’s growing scale and maturity. He joins SoftBank executives in exiting the fintech firm after its IPO.
Paytm said its loan business continued to expand, with the number of loans it has distributed more than doubling from a year earlier to 10.5 million.
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