Shopee-owner Sea tops revenue estimates on e-commerce strength

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Singapore-based Sea Ltd beat quarterly revenue estimates on Tuesday (May 17), driven by improvements in its core e-commerce business in Southeast Asia and Latin America, sending its shares up over 5 per cent in premarket trade.

Sea pushed the peddle on international expansion moving into newer markets including Chile, Colombia and Mexico over the last two years amid a pandemic-driven boom in e-commerce and digital entertainment.

The company, however, struggled to keep up with its rapid expansion and had to exit some of its newer markets such as India and France to subsequently focus on South East Asia, its home turf.

Sea widened its full-year 2022 e-commerce revenue outlook range to between US$8.5 billion and US$9.1 billion, compared with US$8.9 billion to US$9.1 billion forecast earlier.

"As we enter a new period, we recognise that the current macro trends and uncertainties could affect our region and the world in the near to mid-term," Sea Group Chief Executive Officer Forrest Li said.

In the reported quarter, Sea e-commerce revenue jumped 64.4 per cent, while its digital entertainment segment revenue grew 45.3 per cent.

Sales from its newer business line, financial services, grew over 350 per cent to US$236 million.

Total revenue at the New York-listed company rose 64.4 per cent to US$2.90 billion in the first quarter ended Mar 31, above analysts' average estimate of US$2.76 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

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