China’s Proptech Platform Beike Announces $1B Share Repurchase Plan

KE Holdings Inc., also known as Beike, a leading integrated online and offline platform for housing transactions and services, announced on Tuesday its unaudited financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022.

According to the report, Beike’s gross transaction value (GTV) was $92.4 billion, a decrease of 45.2% year-over-year. The GTV of existing home transactions was $59.0 billion, a decrease of 44.5% year-over-year while the GTV of new home transactions was $30.4 billion, a decrease of 43.9% year-over-year. Finally, the GTV of emerging and other services was $3.0 billion, a decrease of 63.6% year-over-year.

The platform’s net revenues were $2.0 billion, a decrease of 39.4% year-over-year. The company’s net loss, on the other hand, was $98 million while adjusted net income was $4 million.

Beike had 45,777 stores as of March 31, 2022, a 6.0% decrease from one year ago. The number of active stores was 42,994 as of March 31, 2022, a 4.3% decrease from one year ago. It had 427,379 agents as of March 31, 2022, a 19.1% decrease from one year ago. The number of the company’s active agents was 381,799 as of March 31, 2022, a 20.3% decrease from one year ago. Mobile monthly active users (MAU) averaged 39.7 million, compared to 48.5 million in the same period of 2021.

Stanley Peng, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Beike, commented on the company’s performance, saying, “In the first quarter, facing significant uncertainties arising from the outbreaks of COVID-19 variants in some cities and a soft macroeconomic outlook, we continued to strive with a determined focus on serving our customers, caring for our service providers and holding an optimistic attitide to further grow our presence in the broader housing related services.”

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“Our total GTV in the first quarter of 2022 decreased by 45% year-over-year to 586.0 billion yuan ($88 billion), reflecting the challenges experienced by the industry but partially mitigated by our market-leading commitment to quality services. In this environment, we continued to take a disciplined approach by holding efficiency as our highest operating priority for existing home sales. We further refined our store and agent management capabilities and leveraged technologies to optimize operations. For new home sales, we aimed for a balanced scale expansion and risk management. Specifically, we want to target strengthening our collaborations with high quality real estate developers and create data-based products to effectively enhance their assessments on new home projects and sales conversions. Meanwhile, undeterred by the short-term adverse market conditions, our home renovation and furnishing services achieved robust growth, with the integration of Shengdu progressing smoothly and synergies realized at multiple levels.”

“There is no doubt that we are being tested this year on multiple fronts, but we are resolute in our belief that the value we bring to our customers gives us an enduring competitive advantage in both good times and tough times. We are prepared to manage through this difficult phase, stay tenacious and optimistic as always, build new capabilities and emerge stronger,” concluded Peng.

Tao Xu, Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of Beike, added, “During the first quarter, net revenues were 12.5 billion yuan, down 39.4% year-over-year, as the market recovery remained fragmented amid temporary disruptions caused by the COVID-19 resurgence. Against the headwinds, we seized the opportunity to further optimize our execution, and moved to position ourselves for a market recovery. To lay this groundwork, we devoted more resources to developing and investing in our long-term capabilities, as demonstrated by the closing of our Shengdu acquisition, which significantly bolstered our home renovation and furnishing services. In addition, to protect the best interests of our stakeholders, we successfully completed our home coming dual-primary listing on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange by way of introduction on May 11. Looking ahead, we have faith in it as we ignite our ‘One body, Two wings’ strategy, will weather the short-term turbulence, and, more importantly, explore, transform and upgrade the thriving ‘better living’ sector to create indispensable value for our industry and our customers.”

In addition, Beike announced on Tuesday that it is proposing to establish a share repurchase program under which the company may repurchase up to $1 billion of its ADSs over a 12-month period, subject to the obtaining of a general mandate from the company’s shareholders at a general meeting to be convened by the company. The repurchases are expected to be carried out as soon as legally permissible after the company obtains the general mandate of its shareholders.

The share repurchases, if approved, may be effected from time to time in the open market at prevailing market prices and/or through other legally permissible means, depending on market conditions and in accordance with applicable rules and regulations. It plans to fund any such repurchases from its existing cash balance.