LivingSocial breaks into black; Amazon earnings say stake in deals site worth $100M

LivingSocial earned $177 million in net income during the first quarter compared to a $45 million loss during the same period a year ago, according to a filing by Amazon.com, which owns 31 percent of the District daily deals company.

The positive showing for LivingSocial is largely due to the $260 million sale of its South Korean subsidiary, Ticket Monster, to Chicago-based Groupon in January. LivingSocial netted $205 million on the sale.

The company reported revenue of $77 million, which is down from the $108 million it recorded during the first quarter of 2013, according to the filing.

The company has yet to turn a profit, and its valuation of around $300 million is a fraction of what it was two years ago.

LivingSocial has retrenched in recent months, pulling back from producing live events, closing its facility at 918 F St. NW and focusing more on providing merchants with an online platform to market their products.

“In September 2013, LivingSocial announced a strategic refocusing to emphasize marketplace innovation, product development, and marketing in the U.S. and other regions in which we operate,” said LivingSocial chief financial officer John Bax in a statement released early Friday by the company. In the first quarter of this year, Bax wrote “we took a number of significant steps forward in this effort, including a first wave of extended merchant and consumer flexibility, the transition of our live events business, significant improvement in our mobile apps, and the sale of our businesses in Southeast Asia which closed just as we entered the second quarter.”

Thomas Heath is a local business reporter and columnist, writing about entrepreneurs and various companies big and small in the Washington Metropolitan area. Previously, he wrote about the business of sports for The Post’s sports section for most of a decade.
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