Vantage Point: Shopee, Lazada score profits in Thailand, but Indonesia is a different ball game

Vantage Point: Shopee, Lazada score profits in Thailand, but Indonesia is a different ball game

This weekly newsletter chronicles top digital themes and trends playing out in SE Asia, especially Indonesia. We will decode policy and regulatory changes affecting digital economy sectors, crunch earnings data of top players, track developments related to gig economy workers and attempt to piece together ecosystem buildouts in some of the fastest-growing, venture-backed plays. You can access the previous editions of the Vantage Point weekly posts here.

Executive Summary

  • Shopee, Lazada’s profitability acts pay off in Thailand
  • Walujo has his task cut out as GoTo’s new CEO
  • PasarPolis must focus on home market first
  • United Tractors goes full throttle on nickel investments

Shopee, Lazada’s profitability acts pay off in Thailand

With profitability the key focus in today’s markets versus GMV and even revenues, it is interesting to note that both Lazada and Shopee have booked profits in Thailand in FY2022, according to research firm 

While Shopee booked a profit in Thailand for the first time in eight years, for Lazada it was the second year of profit in a row, with both companies being more conservative on promotional spending and increasing service fees.

In FY2022, Shopee posted a profit of 2.38 billion baht and a revenue of 21.7 billion baht, while Lazada booked a profit of 413 million baht and a revenue of 20 billion baht. 

While Shopee’s sales grew 62% YoY, its profit surged 147% from losses of 4.9 billion baht in FY2021. 

All the nine subsidiaries of Sea Ltd in Thailand together booked revenue of 55 billion baht and profit of 2.5 billion baht in FY2022 against revenue of 43 billion baht and losses of 5.9 billion baht in FY2021. 

Shopee made up the largest portion of both revenue and profit, although Shopee Express was also profitable in FY2022, booking a revenue of 16 billion baht and a profit of 932 million baht versus a revenue of 15 billion baht and losses of 289 million baht in FY2021. 

Lazada, which is the number two e-commerce player in Thailand, booked a profit for the second year in a row, with profit growing 82% YoY and revenue rising 40.8%. In FY2021, Lazada booked a profit growth of 105% YoY to 226 million baht, with revenue up 46.6% YoY to 14.6 billion baht. Lazada was the marketplace leader in Thailand in FY2021 but was overtaken by Shopee in FY2022.  

Both marketplace platforms raised service fees in FY2022 from 1% to 2% and have done so again in FY2023 from 2.14% to 3.21-4.28% depending on the product category, demonstrating the ongoing focus on profitability.  

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