June 29, 2020 / 4:34 PM / a month ago

Tech investor Prosus reports full-year profit up 6.7%

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Prosus NV, one of the world’s largest technology investors, on Monday said net profit for the year to March 31, 2020 rose a better-than-expected 6.7% to $3.82 billion, helped by strong growth at its biggest investment Tencent.

Analysts polled by Refinitiv had forecast net profit of $3.57 billion.

Prosus, which listed in Amsterdam in September 2019, holds a 31% stake in Tencent worth $186 billion at current prices.

However, the operating loss at operations the company owns outright - which include online classifieds, payments, and food delivery businesses - widened to $593 million from $422 million in the same period a year earlier.

CEO Bob van Dijk said in a statement the year had seen good revenue growth, notably in food delivery and improved profitability in the e-commerce businesses, particularly the classifieds segment.

Prosus owns or owns stakes in classified companies OLX Group and LetGo; in payments companies PayU and Remitly; and in food delivery companies iFood of Brazil, Swiggy of India and Berlin-based Delivery Hero.

On June 18, Prosus warned the novel coronavirus outbreak could hurt its performance in the post-March period.

It repeated that warning in Monday’s report, but did not give a detailed outlook.

“While the global societal and economic impacts of COVID-19 are likely to persist for some time, we are confident of our ability to weather the storm,” Van Dijk said.

“We expect that group businesses are likely to benefit from a further acceleration of the underlying trend toward online.”

The company’s shares closed at 79.50 euros ($89.30) in Amsterdam, up 19% year to date.

($1 = 0.8902 euros)

Reporting by Toby Sterling; editing by David Goodman and Barbara Lewis

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