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Afterpay loss widens as it seeks growth in new markets

By Debabrata Das

04:52, 25 August 2021

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Afterpay logo on a smartphone with a background of a web page
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Australian buy now, pay later (BNPL) service provider Afterpay’s loss for the year ended June 2021 widened as it spent more on marketing while expanding to new regions. The expansion, though, helped the company nearly double its underlying sales.

On Wednesday, Afterpay reported a net transaction loss of AUD132.6m (USD96.06m) as compared to AUD42.8m in the previous year. Statutory net loss increased to AUD159.4m as compared to AUD22.9m in the previous year.

Afterpay’s marketing expense also soared to AUD168.8m in 2021 as compared to AUD70.5m in the previous year as it entered new markets. The entry into new markets led to its underlying sales rising to AUD21.1bn in 2021 as compared to AUD11.1bn in the previous year.

Afterpay expands footprint

The marketing expenses have helped raise Afterpay’s footprint in North America and it has now become the company’s largest market, even bigger than its home country Australia. Afterpay had recently accepted a takeover offer from Twitter founder Jack Dorsey's Square. 

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“The geographic profile of the Afterpay business continues to evolve, with all regions performing strongly during the period notwithstanding that global retail remains at various points of reopening due to the effects of the pandemic,” according to a company statement.

Afterpay’s statement also showed that active customers increased by 16.2 million during 2021, an increase of 63% over the previous year. “Approximately 25,000 new customers joined the platform globally per day during 2021,” the company added.

Shares down 

Following the announcement, Afterpay’s shares fell 0.83% from the previous close on the Australian Stock Exchange during afternoon trading in Sydney at AUD133.98.


Read more: Square to acquire Afterpay in largest-ever Australian buyout

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