Ke Holdings’ shares on the HKEX were up by more than 10 percent on Friday when the real-estate agency’s 2022 financial report beat market expectations.
Ke’s total revenue in 2022 was poor, weighed down by the usual gripes about the pandemic and lockdowns. A mere 60.7 billion yuan (US$8.8 billion) was three-quarters of the 2021 amount and represented a net loss of 1.4 billion yuan. There were, however, no more excuses in Q4.
With Covid restrictions gone, China began to yawn and come back to life.
Revenue in the final three months was 16.7 billion yuan, almost exactly a quarter of the annual total. But the news that sent the share price soaring was that a loss of 1.2 billion yuan in Q4 of 2021 had been turned into a profit of 390 million yuan in 2022.
For two years, Ke Holdings has been sacking sales reps and agents and shutting down branches. More than 50,000 agents – 1,000 each week – were sent packing in 2022, and around 10,000 branches were closed.