Scout24 AG announces record 2016 results and robust outlook for 2017

  • Strong top-line growth with revenues up 12.3% to EUR 442.1 million
  • Surge in profitability with ordinary operating EBITDA up 18.4% to EUR 224.5 million yielding a margin of 50.8%
  • 20.4% increase in cash contribution supports deleveraging
  • Positive outlook for the financial year 2017: high-single-digit revenue growth and continued margin expansion

Berlin / Munich, 29 March 2017 – Scout24 AG ("Scout24" or “the Group”), the leading operator of digital marketplaces specialising in the real estate and automotive sectors in Germany and other selected European countries, announces its full year results for the year ended 31 December 2016.

According to the audited consolidated financial statements published today, Group revenues for the financial year 2016 increased by 12.3% to EUR 442.1 million. Group ordinary operating EBITDA was up 18.4% to EUR 224.5 million, representing an uplift in margin of 2.6 percentage points to 50.8%. Cash contribution increased by 20.4%, further reducing leverage to 2.82x ordinary operating EBITDA. These figures fully confirm the preliminary financial results published on 13 February 2017.

"2016 was another very good year for Scout24. We maintained our growth momentum, delivering not only world-class digital services but also record-breaking financials. Next to top performance of our core verticals, product innovations through Scout24 Media have begun to pay off. Based on our proven ability to generate high cash flows, we were able to further reduce debt reaching a leverage ratio of 2.82:1at the end of 2016. Against the backdrop of the successful financial year, together with the Supervisory Board we will propose our first post-IPO dividend payment to the Annual General Meeting”, said Greg Ellis, Chief Executive Officer of Scout24 AG, commenting on the strong performance of financial year 2016.

 

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 31 December 2016.

(EUR million)

Q4 2016

Q4 2015

+/-

FY 2016

FY 2015

+/-

 

(unaudited)

(unaudited)

 

 

 

 

External revenues

115.8

105.2

10.1 %

442.1

393.6

12.3 %

IS24

73.1

69.8

4.7 %

284.6

266.7

6.7 %

AS24

41.5

33.4

24.3 %

152.0

120.7

25.9 %

Corporate

0.2

1.2

(83.3) %

1.3

2.8

(53.6) %

Ordinary operating EBITDA

57.0

45.0

26.7 %

224.5

189.6

18.4 %

IS24

45.7

40.0

14.3 %

179.2

159.2

12.6 %

AS24

16.7

8.9

87.6 %

64.2

43.8

46.6 %

Corporate

(1.7)

(2.3)

(26.1) %

(7.1)

(8.7)

(18.4) %

Reconciliation of management fee

(3.7)

(1.9)

94.7 %

(11.6)

(5.5)

110.9 %

Ordinary operating EBITDA – margin %

49.2 %

42.7 %

6.5pp

50.8 %

48.2 %

2.6pp

IS24

62.5 %

57.3 %

5.2pp

63.0 %

59.7 %

3.3pp

AS24

40.2 %

26.7 %

13.5pp

42.2 %

36.2 %

6.0pp

EBITDA

53.1

41.2

28.9 %

206.8

166.9

23.9 %

IS24

42.3

35.8

18.2 %

162.6

147.9

9.9 %

AS24

14.1

8.1

74.1 %

55.9

39.7

40.8 %

Capital expenditure

5.8

5.5

5.5 %

19.5

19.3

1.0 %

Cash contribution

51.2

39.5

29.6 %

205.0

170.3

20.4 %

Cash and cash equivalents

 

 

 

43.4

70.6

 

Net financial debt

 

 

 

633.9

711.3

 

Equity

 

 

 

990.8

921.3

 

Equity ratio

 

 

 

46.5 %

42.4 %

 

Employees (FTEs, end of period)

 

 

 

1,135

1,120

 

 

Business Development and Group results

The strategy of consistently focusing on users' needs, boosting the listings base, improving service commitment through additional products, as well as further development from a classifieds portal to a market network, have set the base for our sustainable growth and high profitability. Scout24 remains on its growth track, in both revenues and profitability. This growth is mainly attributable to a higher number of customers and increasing penetration of visibility products at AS24, programmatic advertising, and an improved offering of services along the real estate selling and rental process. Acquisitions also contributed to growth in 2016, especially the acquisition of the Dutch digital automotive classifieds platform European AutoTrader B.V. ("AutoTrader.nl").

The Group-wide Scout24 Media function, which bundles all activities in field of consumer services and supports activities in display advertising sales, extended its position in 2016 and further strengthened the positioning of Scout24 as a leading data-driven digital marketer in Germany and Europe.

The Management Board together with the Supervisory Board will propose a dividend of EUR 0.30 per share for the year 2016 to the Annual General Meeting on 8 June 2017. This corresponds to an overall payment of EUR 32.28 million. In relation to the share price at 30 December 2016, this represents a dividend yield of 0.9 %.

 

Outlook

The trend in ordinary operating EBITDA reflects the success of Scout24’s overall strategy of focusing on sustainable and profitable growth. Revenue growth of 12.3 % was mainly driven organically, but also through targeted acquisitions that bolster the leading market positions. Based on margin quality, strong cash contribution, solid balance sheet structure and good leverage ratio, Scout24 is in an outstanding position to progress the transformation of the Company from a provider of digital classifieds portals to a sector-leading provider of digital marketplaces, as well as to further grow profitability. Moreover, Scout24 continued to streamline its organisational structure, leveraging on synergies across the businesses.

The Management Board is therefore confident that the Group's growth momentum will continue also in 2017. Specifically, organic Group revenues are expected to record a growth rate in the high single-digit area, while the cost base should grow at a disproportionally lower rate. The Management Board therefore expects ordinary operating EBITDA margin to increase by around one percentage point.

In particular, the Management Board expects IS24 to achieve a mid-single-digit percentage organic revenue growth rate. Revenue growth will be weighted towards the second half, where the Management Board expects an acceleration to a mid to high single-digit percentage rate. As in previous years, underlying costs are expected to grow at a disproportionately lower rate than revenues. However, IS24 is stepping up investment in marketing and product innovation for both customers and consumers. These investments are expected to have a positive impact on top line growth, starting in the second half of 2017. As a result, the Management Board expects an ordinary operating EBITDA margin at a similar or slightly lower level than in 2016 (but at least 61%). The number of core agents as of December 2016 declined by 10.0 % compared to December 2015 with a stabilization of agent numbers in the fourth quarter 2016, mainly in line with the general market development. Core Agent numbers are assumed to remain stable excluding any potential impact of agents leaving the business as a result of prevailing market conditions throughout the year. As a result, we expect revenues from core agents to increase by a low single-digit percentage rate with an accelerated growth rate in the second half of 2017.

At AS24, the Management Board expects revenues to grow by a mid-teens percentage growth rate and for ordinary operating EBITDA margin to expand further by at least five percentage points.

Total non-operating costs are expected to amount to approximately EUR 10.0 million, of which approximately EUR 6.0 million relate to share-based compensation for management equity programs and performance-based remuneration from share purchase agreements. A non-recurring charge for reorganisation of approximately EUR 4.0 million is anticipated. Finally, the Management Board expects capital expenditure to be on a comparable level to 2016, further improving the cash conversion potential of the group.

The complete financial statements and management report for the financial year 2016 is available at

report.scout24.com/2016

For the finacial results of the verticals ImmobilienScout24 (IS24) and AutoScout24 (AS24) see IR News at

www.scout24.com/en/Investor-Relations/Financial-News/IR-News.aspx

 

About Scout24

With our leading digital marketplaces ImmobilienScout24 and AutoScout24 in Germany and across Europe we are inspiring people to make their best decisions on finding a home and a car. More than 1,000 employees are working on the success of our products and services, putting the consumers’ needs first in order to create a connected network for living and mobility. Scout24 is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (ISIN: DE000A12DM80, G24). For further information, please visit www.scout24.com/, our Corporate Blog and Tech Blog, or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn

 

Investor Relations

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

 

Media Relations

Marie Fabiunke
Head of Corporate Communications & PR
Fon: +49 30 24301 1427
Email: marie.fabiunke@scout24.com

 

Disclaimer:

All information contained in this document has been carefully prepared. However, no reliance may be placed for any purposes whatsoever on the information contained in this document or on its completeness. No representation or warranty, express or implied, is given by or on behalf of the Company or any of its directors, officers or employees or any other person as to the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained in this document and no liability whatsoever is accepted by the Company or any of its directors, officers or employees nor any other person for any loss howsoever arising, directly or indirectly, from any use of such information or opinions or otherwise arising in connection therewith.

The information contained in this 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.