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Klarna losses quadruple in Australia

Klarna losses quadruple in Australia

Klarna's Australian arm racked up losses of $56 million last year, four times bigger than when it launched in the country in 2020, when it reported a $14 million loss.

The figures, reported by local news site news.com, are accompanied with a warning by auditors Ernst & Young about the company's ability to stay afloat.

The company had a net asset deficiency of more than $70 million on 31 December last year and the audit revealed that the Stockholm-based parent company has been forced to prop up the Australian arm.

Ernst and Young partner Michael Byrne said in the audit that operating losses and the net asset deficiency caused material uncertainty “that may cast significant doubt on the group’s ability to continue as a going concern”.

The figures show that Klarna Australia suffered a 71 per cent slide in merchant and consumer commission revenue to only $3.1 million in 2021, compared to $10.8 million the previous year.

It also experienced soaring credit loss charges from $169,271 in 2020 to $8.5 million.

The performance of the Australian unit, which was supported on its launch into the market by a $300 million investment by Commonwealth Bank of Australia, mirrors the jaundiced outlook for the business as a whole, which has had billions of dollars knocked off its valuation and forced a significant retrenchment of its ambitious growth strategy.

Notes attached to the auditor's report signed by Klarna's three-member board underlined a determination to keep shoring up the Australian business for the foreseeable futures.

A Klarna spokesperson told news.com it was “committed and dedicated to Australia as ever before and has never exited a market”, indicating that the scale of the problems may have been overstated.

The spokesman said that the 2020 accounts reflect a significant contribution from Klarna Group of more than $10 million.

“Subsequent financial contributions have been in the form of debt which are reflected elsewhere in the accounts in 2021. We are very pleased with our performance in Australia where revenue more than tripled in 2021, and Gross Merchandise Volume increased 5 times with continued strong progress in 2022."

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 01 November, 2022, 10:23Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Losses quadruple,  Gross Merchandise Volume up 5 times.....  Failing any changes in credit scoring or onboarding operations, we can expect increasing losses to follow the the increasing merchandise voulme next year.... As the Board would say... "Triples all round" !!!!