The colossus of Australian online vehicle classifieds and automotive display advertising, carsales.com Ltd, today announced record results for the first half of the 2013 financial year.
The dominant player by a country mile in automotive classifieds, carsales is now using its experience with classifieds and its stable user-friendly online platform to expand into general classifieds with quicksales.com.au.
Carsales' thwarted bid (by the ACCC) to acquire TradingPost.com.au and to relaunch it using infrastructure from its quicksales.com.au website, although clearly a key part of this strategy, has clearly not slowed its march across key competitors Fairfax and News Limited.
Carsales.com Ltd’s total operating revenue for the first half rose to $102.1 million, up 17 percent compared to the same period in the 2012 financial year.
More to the point for shareholders was that after-tax net profit was up 14 percent to $37.6 million for the first half year.
Its EBITDA (‘earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation’) margin of 53 percent was slightly lower than the previous comparative period, however the company expects the full-year (2013FY) revenue and EBITDA to be well ahead of 2012.
Carsales shareholders can look forward to a fully franked interim dividend of 12.7 cents per share to be paid on April 10, 2013.
Carsales CEO and Managing Director, Greg Roebuck, said the first half financial results “were pleasing, with all parts of the business performing well”.
He’s got reason to be pleased: carsales.com Ltd’s display advertising growth was up 28 percent year-on-year, ahead of the reported 21 percent year-on-year growth in total online advertising (over 2012).
New car enquiry volumes were up 35 percent year-on-year; and overall automotive enquiry volumes (new and used, dealer and private) were up nine percent compared to the first half for 2012FY.
"In an arena that saw significant increases in marketing efforts from major competitive media, our sites have continued to outperform their opposition. By every measure carsales.com.au remains the clear number one," Mr Roebuck said.
"We have continued to roll out key developments across our network of sites, on both desktop and mobile platforms to continue to enhance our consumer and business-to-business offerings.
"Desktop innovation is still important but new mobile solutions are also key."
Mr Roebuck also affirmed carsales.com Ltd’s commitment to building a strong presence in general classifieds through quicksales.com.au, which, he said, had also “yielded good growth in important operational metrics”.
"This space is dominated by overseas-owned multinational operations but we are keen to deliver a truly Australian alternative," Mr Roebuck said.
In a tough market, carsales.com remains a very bright spot on the ASX.
TMR Managing Editor
Disclosure: The Motor Report is in a commercial alliance with carsales.com Ltd