By Dimpal Gulwani
BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian digital payments firm Paytm posted an operating profit for the fourth straight quarter on Friday, helped by steady loan growth at its financial services business.
Paytm, one of the country’s first startups to go public, said revenue increased 32% to 25.19 billion rupees ($300.96 million) in the second quarter, from 19.14 billion rupees a year earlier.
However, the jump in revenue was still lower than the 76.2% rise of last year, when it benefited from the festive season.
The festive season in India starts in October around Diwali, when it is traditional to buy new apparel and other items for gifting. An increasing number of Indians are preferring to pay for those through online digital processors like Paytm.
“In this financial year, online sales for the festive season will be captured in the third quarter, whereas in the previous financial year it was largely in the second quarter,” the company said in a statement.
Operating profit – which Paytm defines as core profit before cost of employee stock-owing plans – came in at 1.53 billion rupees for the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with a loss of 1.66 billion rupees a year earlier.
Core profit in the first quarter was 840 million rupees.
The company, which has not posted a net profit since it went public in November 2021, said its consolidated net loss narrowed to 2.91 billion rupees, from 5.71 billion rupees a year ago.
Paytm, which also rents out devices that read out the value of online payments made to merchants, said revenue at its core payments business rose 28%.
Financial services revenue, which includes its loans business, rose 64%. Loans distributed more-than-doubled in value to 162.11 billion rupees.
Paytm’s shares closed 2% higher ahead of results on Friday. They have gained 86% so far this year, while the broader Nifty Financial Services firms has risen 3.3%.
($1 = 83.0670 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Dimpal Gulwani in Bengaluru; Editing by Nivedita Bhattacharjee)