Scout24 AG announces record 2015 results and strong outlook for 2016

  • 14.0% increase in Group revenues to EUR 393.6 million in 2015
  • 27.6% increase in ordinary operating EBITDA to EUR 189.6 million
  • 26.8% increase in cash contribution supports robust deleveraging profile
  • Positive outlook for the financial year 2016: double-digit revenue growth and disproportionate increase in earnings

Berlin / Munich, 30 March 2016 – Scout24 AG ("Scout24" or “the Group”), the leading operator of digital marketplaces specializing in the real estate and automotive sectors in Germany and other selected European countries, announces its full year results for the year ended December 31, 2015.

According to the audited consolidated financial statements published today,  Group revenues for the financial year 2015 increased by 14.0% to EUR 393.6 million. Group ordinary operating EBITDA was up 27.6% to EUR 189.6 million, representing an uplift in margin of 5.2 percentage points to 48.2%. Furthermore, despite increased capital expenditures, cash contribution1 increased by 26.8%, further reducing leverage to 3.74x ordinary operating EBITDA. These figures fully confirm the preliminary financial results published on February 15, 2016. Scout24’s strong performance was driven by both core businesses, ImmobilienScout24 ("IS24") and AutoScout24 ("AS24").

"2015 was our most successful financial year. By streamlining the business around our core verticals, IS24 and AS24, and a renewed focus on execution, we have laid the foundations for sustainable and profitable revenue growth. We are developing from a market place to a market network while anticipating the needs of our customers, as both consumers and customers become increasingly digital, driving the growth of the online advertising market in Germany and Europe. With our market leading platforms we are well-positioned at Scout24 to benefit from this continuous structural shift of marketing budgets from traditional marketing channels to online", said Greg Ellis, Chief Executive Officer of Scout24 AG, commenting on the future growth prospects.

Overview of Financial Results

The table below provides a summary overview of the Group’s performance for the fourth quarter and the financial year ended December 31, 2015. Given the Group’s complex financial history, to facilitate year-over-year comparisons and to better represent business trends, additional, voluntary disclosure has been provided for the full year ended December 31, 2014. This is based on the sum of financials from Scout24 Holding GmbH financial statements for the period January 1, 2014 to March 31, 2014 and Asa NewCo GmbH (now: Scout24 AG) financial statements for the period April 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014.

 (in EUR million)

Q4 2015

Q4 2014

%

change

Financial Year 2015

Financial Year 20142

%

change

External Revenues

105.2

92.5

13.8%

393.6

345.3

14.0%

 therein Core operations

104.3

91.7

13.8%

390.3

342.1

14.1%

            IS24

69.8

61.3

13.8%

266.7

231.4

15.3%

            AS24

33.4

29.5

13.0%

120.7

106.9

13.0%

            Corporate

1.2

0.8

n.m.

2.8

3.9

n.m.

EBITDA3

41.2

26.4

 

166.9

87.4

 

 therein Core operations

40.4

25.7

 

166.0

89.3

 

            IS24

35.8

29.5

 

147.9

119.5

 

            AS24

8.1

4.6

 

39.7

19.0

 

            Corporate

(3.5)

(8.4)

 

(21.7)

(49.2)

 

Ordinary operating EBITDA 4

45.0

38.9

15.4%

189.6

148.6

27.6%

 therein Core operations

44.7

38.2

17.0%

188.8

149.0

26.7%

            IS24

40.0

34.7

15.2%

159.2

129.3

23.1%

            AS24

8.9

7.3

21.9%

43.8

31.1

40.9%

            Corporate

(2.3)

(2.8)

18.1%

(8.7)

(8.5)

(1.8%)

            Management fee reconciliation 5

(1.9)

(1.0)

n.m.

(5.5)

(2.9)

n.m.

Ordinary operating EBITDA margin

42.7%

42.1%

0.6pp

48.2%

43.0%

5.2pp

            Core operations

42.9%

41.7%

1.2pp

48.4%

43.6%

4.8pp

            IS24

57.3%

56.6%

0.7pp

59.7%

55.9%

3.8pp

            AS24

26.7%

24.8%

1.9pp

36.2%

29.1%

7.1pp

Capital expenditure

5.5

7.7

(28.9%)

19.3

14.2

35.3%

Cash contribution 6

39.5

31.2

26.4%

170.3

143.3

26.8%

The complete financial statements and management report for the financial year 2015 is available at http://report.scout24.com/2015

Outlook

2015 was a landmark year in Scout24’s history with a renewed focus on execution and several strategic initiatives to help streamline the business around its core IS24 and AS24 verticals and position it on a steady growth track. This momentum has carried over to 2016 where year-to-date operating performance has been strong. The Management Board is therefore confident that the Group's growth momentum will continue throughout the remainder of the year and that it can meet market expectations for the financial year 2016. Specifically Group revenues are expected to record a low double-digit percentage growth rate. Reflecting the scalable nature of the business model, the cost base should grow at a disproportionally lower rate than revenues and the Management Board therefore expects the ordinary operating EBITDA margin to come in between 49.5% and 50.5%. 

In particular, the Management Board expects IS24 to achieve a high single to a low double-digit percentage revenue growth rate in the financial year 2016 as well as an increase in ordinary operating EBITDA margin from 59.7% in 2015 to between 60.5% and 61.5%. The forecast is based on a similar ARPU growth as 2015 and some continued decline in core agent numbers as a result of the "Bestellerprinzip" and the ongoing transition to the membership model. The Management Board also expects increasing revenues from private listings and strong growth in consumer monetization revenues.

At AS24, the Management Board expects revenues to grow organically at a similar rate as in 2015 and ordinary operating EBITDA margin to expand further by a few percentage points. Especially, the Management Board sees further growth in the number of core dealers driven by the intensified acquisition of medium sized and smaller dealers across its key geographies. Moreover, the recent acquisition of European AutoTrader B.V., Amsterdam ("Autotrader") is expected to contribute revenues of around EUR 6 million.

For 2016, the Management Board expects total non-operating costs to amount to approximately EUR 14.5 million. These will include approximately EUR 4.5 million of share-based compensation and around EUR 2.0 million from a share purchase agreement.  Furthermore the Management Board expects a non-recurring restructuring charge of approximately EUR 5.0 million and additional EUR 3.0 million of post-merger integration expenses for the recent Autotrader acquisition in the Netherlands. Capital expenditure is forecast to be slightly lower than in 2015.

 

About Scout24

Scout24 operates leading digital classifieds platforms in Germany and other selected European countries. The main operations under the umbrella brand Scout24 are the digital marketplaces ImmobilienScout24 and AutoScout24. ImmobilienScout24 is the leading digital real estate classifieds platform in Germany, based on consumer traffic and time spent as well as customer numbers and listings. AutoScout24 is a leading automotive digital classifieds platform in Europe, in terms of unique monthly visitors and listings. Scout24’s digital marketplaces are empowering people to realise their property and car-owning dreams simply, efficiently and stress-free. Further information is available at www.scout24.com.

 

Investor Relations contact

Britta Schmidt
Vice President Investor Relations & Treasury
Tel.: +49 89 44456 3278    
Email: ir@scout24.com

 

Press contact

Svenja Lahrmann
Instinctif Partners
Tel.: +49 221 42075 23
Email: svenja.lahrmann@instinctif.com

 

Disclaimer:

This document has been issued by Scout24 AG (the “Company” and, together with its direct and indirect subsidiaries, the "Group")) and does not constitute or form part of and should not be construed as any offer or invitation to sell or issue, or any solicitation of any offer to purchase or subscribe for, any securities of the Company, nor shall any part of it nor the fact of its distribution form part of or be relied on in connection with any contract or investment decision, nor does it constitute a recommendation regarding the securities of the Company or any present or future member of the Group.

The information contained in this press release is subject to amendment, revision and updating. Certain statements, beliefs and opinions in this document are forward-looking, which reflect the Company’s or, as appropriate, senior management’s current expectations and projections about future events. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and assumptions could adversely affect the outcome and financial effects of the plans and events described herein. Statements contained in this document regarding past trends or activities should not be taken as a representation that such trends or activities will continue in the future. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any information contained in this press release (including forward-looking statements), whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this document.

1 Cash contribution is defined as ordinary operating EBITDA less Capital Expenditure.

2 These figures represent the sum of financials from the audited consolidated financial statements of Scout24 Holding GmbH for the short financial year from January 1, 2014 until March 31, 2014 and the segment information for the period of April 1, 2014 to September 30, 2014 in the unaudited interim consolidated financial statements of Asa NewCo GmbH as of and for the six-month period ended June 30, 2015.

3 EBITDA is defined as profit before financial results, income taxes, depreciation and amortization, impairment write-downs and the result of sales of subsidiaries.

4 Ordinary operating EBITDA represents EBITDA adjusted for non-operating and special effects, ordinary operating EBITDA margin of a segment is defined as ordinary operating EBITDA as a percentage of external  segment revenues.

5 Ordinary operating EBITDA of Core operations includes reconciliation of management fee charges by the Corporate segment to the IS24 and AS24 segments, as the management fee is part of the ordinary operating result of Corporate while in the IS24 and AS24 segments, it is accounted for as a non-operating effect and therefore excluded from ordinary operating EBITDA for IS24 and AS24.

6 Cash contribution is defined as ordinary operating EBITDA less Capital Expenditure.