Sea Ltd (SE US) announced its 1Q2021 results which look like a blowout set of numbers with +147% growth in total GAAP revenues with +117% growth in digital bookings for digital entertainment and +250% YoY growth in e-commerce GAAP revenues.
Gross Profit increased a staggering +212% YoY to US$645.4m in 1Q2021 and the company booked a positive EBITDA of US$88.1m versus a (US$69.9m) loss in 1Q2020.
The gross profit margin increased from 28% in 1Q2020 to 36% in 1Q2021, which is a testament to the fact that the company is moving along the path to profitability. Digital entertainment saw higher margins, while-commerce saw falling EBITDA loss per order.
In Digital Entertainment (DE) division continues to see strong growth in its user base with +61% YoY growth in quarterly active users (QAU) to 648.6m but more importantly quarterly paying users saw growth of +12.3% YoY to 79.8m signifying a higher level of monetization on its self-developed game Free Fire.
The company continues to successfully expand its gaming business to new geographies, with India being the latest growth engine and players are spending more time on Free Fire and spending more. It continues to add new content and characters to increase the appeal and stickiness of Free Fire. It is also seeing huge response in the eSports arena for Free Fire.
Shopee ranked number one in the shopping category by monthly active users and time spent in app in 1Q2021 for both South East Asia and Taiwan, according to App Annie. E-commerce continues to show supercharged growth and especially in the core market of Indonesia.
Sea Ltd (SE US)‘s move into digital payments in South -East Asia under SeaMoney and ShopeePay in Indonesia continues to see strong momentum. The mobile wallet total payment volume saw total payment volume triple in 1Q2021 to US$3.4bn.
The company is also expanding the offline use-cases for ShopeePay most recently extending use to Indomaret in Indonesia, the largest mini-market operator in the country.
Sea Ltd (SE US)‘s move into food delivery through ShopeeFood and evidence suggests that it has already had a strong reception to its launch in Jakarta, with growth similar to that in other categories.
This latest set of results provides further proof of the success of the Sea Ltd (SE US) growth model which generates huge EBITDA from gaming and reinvests that money into growing the company’s e-commerce and digital finance businesses, whilst maintaining the investment momentum into the gaming cash cow, buy pushing out into new geographies such as India.
Sea Ltd (SE US) continues to standout as the best way to play the explosive growth in e-commerce in South East Asia, funded by the popularity of its self developed game Free Fire and its gaming business, together with its move into digital payments a third leg to future growth. Sea Ltd (SE US) valuations are higher than its listed peers on 13x and 9x EV/Sales for FY21E and FY22E respectively but it is growing at more than twice the pace in terms of sales to justify this. The market is also paying a premium for its unique financing plus its market leadership and strong track record on execution, with 11 consecutive quarters of triple-digit growth.