Scout24 AG gets off to a successful start into the 2019 financial year with significant double-digit revenue growth

  • Group revenue climbs 20.6% to EUR 148.8 million
  • Excellent development of business in all three segments
  • Ordinary operating EBITDA margin stands at 47.7%
  • Reaffirm to reaching the corporate targets for the 2019 financial year

Munich/Berlin, 14 May 2019 – A leading operator of digital marketplaces specialising in the real estate and automotive sectors in Germany and other selected European countries, Scout24 AG (“Scout24” or “the Group”) has accelerated its growth, closing the first quarter of 2019 with double-digit growth rates in revenue and ordinary operating EBITDA.

According to the unaudited interim consolidated financial statements, Group revenue increased by 20.6% from EUR 123.4 million to EUR 148.8 million in the first quarter of 2019. Adjusted for consolidation effects[1], the growth rate came to 14.8% (Q1 2018 adjusted revenue: EUR 129.7 million). The Group’s ordinary operating EBITDA increased in the first quarter of 2019 to EUR 70.9 million (Q1 2018: EUR 63.7 million). This is equivalent to a growth rate of 11.3% in relation to the previous year, or of 15.3% on an adjusted basis, which is higher than the revenue growth rate (adjusted ordinary operating EBITDA of the Group in Q1 2018: EUR 61.5 million). The ordinary operating EBITDA margin is 47.7% (Q1 2018 adjusted: 47.5%; Q1 2018: 51.6%). This development reflects above all the investment made in the first quarter in the Scout24 Group’s future growth. The cash contribution increased by 17.2% to EUR 65.3 million (Q1 2018: EUR 55.8 million), once again underscoring the Group’s high financial strength.

“The 2019 financial year got off to an excellent start for Scout24. The strong development of AutoScout24 revenue and earnings is particularly noteworthy. But we are also very satisfied with the high revenue growth and sustained high level of profitability at ImmobilienScout24. The high growth rate recorded as expected in the Consumer Services segment highlights the progress made in monetising our service offering and emphatically confirms our strategic alignment in this segment. The financials for the first quarter of 2019 are once again proof of the Scout24 Group’s strong operating performance and therefore the Group reaffirms that the corporate targets for the 2019 financial year can be reached,” says Christian Gisy, CFO of Scout24 AG.

Overview of financial indicators

The table below provides a detailed overview of the Group's financial indicators for the first quarter ended 31 March 2019.

 

(EUR millions)

       Q1 2019*

      Q1 2018*/**

          +/-

External revenue

148.8

123.4

20.6%

                  IS24

65.1

60.5

7.6%

                  AS24

45.3

38.8

16.8%

                  CS

38.5

24.1

59.4%

Ordinary operating EBITDA1

70.9

63.7

11.3%

                  IS24

43.2

39.9

8.2%

                  AS24

24.8

17.4

42.5%

                  CS

5.1

8.4

-39.2%

Ordinary operating EBITDA margin1

47.7%

51.6%

-3.9pp

                  IS24

66.3%

66.0%

0.3pp

                  AS24

54.8%

44.9%

9.9pp

                  CS

13.3%

35.0%

-21.7pp

EBITDA2

58.5

60.8

-3.9%

Capital expenditure (adjusted)5

5.6

8.0

-29.6%

Cash contribution3

65.3

55.8

17.2%

Cash conversion4

92%

88%

4pp

*   Advertising revenue with OEM partner agencies and the corresponding ordinary operating EBITDA is no longer reported in the AutoScout24 segment as of 1 January 2019 but rather in the Scout24 Consumer Services segment due to the close structural relationship with Third-Party Display Revenue; the figures of the previous year have been restated accordingly.

** The figures reported in the quarterly statement for Q1 2018 were restated on account of the first-time adoption of IFRS 16.

1      Ordinary operating EBITDA refers to EBITDA adjusted for non-operating effects, which mainly include restructuring expenses, expenses in connection with the Company’s capital structure and company acquisitions (realised and unrealised), costs for strategic projects as well as effects on profit or loss from share-based payment programmes. The ordinary operating EBITDA margin of a segment is defined as ordinary operating EBITDA as a percentage of external segment revenue.

2   EBITDA is defined as profit before net finance costs, income taxes, depreciation and amortisation, impairment losses and gains or losses on the sale of subsidiaries.

3    Cash contribution is defined as ordinary operating EBITDA less capital expenditure (adjusted).

4   The cash conversion rate is defined as ordinary operating EBITDA less capital expenditure divided by ordinary operating EBITDA.

5   Capital expenditure (adjusted) does not include capital expenditure made due to the application of IFRS 16.

 

The complete quarterly statement including interim consolidated financial statements is available at www.scout24.com/financial-reports.

Business performance and earnings of the Group

The 2019 financial year got off to a successful start for Scout24, driven by the continuing positive dynamics in the ImmobilienScout24 (“IS24”) segment as well as strong growth in the AutoScout24 (“AS24”) and Consumer Services (“CS”) segments.

According to the unaudited interim consolidated financial statements, Group revenue increased by 20.6% to EUR 148.8 million in the first quarter of 2019 (Q1 2018: EUR 123.4 million). Adjusted for consolidation effects, i.e. taking into account the contribution of FINANZCHECK.de for the full 2018 financial year and without the contributions of the deconsolidated entities AS24 Spain and classmarkets in the first quarter of 2018, the growth rate came to 14.8% (adjusted revenue for Q1 2018: EUR 129.7 million).

The Group’s ordinary operating EBITDA improved to EUR 70.9 million (Q1 2018: EUR 63.7 million), and the ordinary operating EBITDA margin was 47.7% (Q1 2018 adjusted: 47.5%; Q1 2018: 51.6%). This is equivalent to a growth rate of 11.3% in relation to the previous year, or of 15.3% on an adjusted basis, which is higher than the adjusted revenue growth rate. This development reflects above all the investment made in the first quarter in the Scout24 Group’s future growth.

The Group's EBITDA decreased by EUR 2.4 million to EUR 58.5 million in the first quarter of 2019 compared with the first quarter of 2018 (Q1 2018: EUR 60.8 million). It includes non-operating costs of EUR 12.5 million, which mainly comprised personnel expenses in connection with share-based payments (EUR 9.3 million) and costs attributable to M&A transactions as well as post-merger integration (EUR 2.8 million). The Group’s net profit for the reporting period attributable to shareholders of the parent company amounted to EUR 26.1 million (Q1 2018: EUR 30.2 million), resulting in basic earnings per share of EUR 0.24 (Q1 2018: EUR 0.28).

With revenue growth of 20.6% (adjusted for consolidation effects: revenue growth of 14.8%) and an ordinary operating EBITDA margin of 47.7%, the Group reaffirm the corporate targets communicated in the 2018 annual report (revenue growth between 15.0% and 17.0%, ordinary operating EBITDA margin between 52.0% and 54.0%).

ImmobilienScout24 (IS24)

External revenue in the IS24 segment grew by 7.6% to EUR 65.1 million in the reporting period compared with EUR 60.5 million in the first quarter of 2018. Adjusted for consolidation effects, i.e. without taking into account the contribution of the deconsolidated entity classmarkets to revenue for the first quarter of 2018, revenue grew by 8.5%. Revenue with Residential Real Estate Partners continued to accelerate compared with the previous quarter, for the first time recording a double-digit growth rate in the first quarter of 2019. Revenue with Business Real Estate Partners also continued to enjoy solid double-digit growth. In both revenue lines, growth was mainly driven by improved monetisation of the existing customer base and the continuing success of the VIA product range. A further increase in the number of residential real estate partners compared with the previous quarter was another growth driver. The number of business real estate partners remained largely stable compared with the end of the previous quarter. Revenue with Private Listers and Others in the first quarter of 2019 was slightly below the 2018 comparative period, above all due to the deconsolidation of classmarkets in December 2018. On a comparable basis, i.e. without taking into account classmarkets’ contribution in the first quarter of 2018, revenue essentially remained stable, in particular on the back of the good development enjoyed by Revenue with Private Listers. Ordinary operating EBITDA increased by 8.2% compared with the previous year. At 66.3%, the ordinary operating EBITDA margin was slightly above the previous-year level (Q1 2018: 66.0%, Q1 2018 adjusted: 66.4%), reflecting the increased expenditure to optimise the product range as well as timing effects of advertising measures.

The segment is well on track to achieving the targets communicated in the 2018 annual report (adjusted revenue growth of between 9.0% and 11.0%, ordinary operating EBITDA margin of up to 70.0%).

 

AutoScout24 (AS24)

The AS24 segment’s external revenue increased by 16.8% to EUR 45.3 million in the first quarter of 2019 compared with the first quarter of 2018 (Q1 2018: EUR 38.8 million). Adjusted for consolidation effects, i.e. without taking into account the contribution of AutoScout24 Spain to revenue for the first quarter of 2018, revenue grew by 21.2%. This sustained positive development is mainly attributable to ARPU growth of dealer customers, both in Germany and in the other European Core Countries (Belgium, Netherlands, Italy and Austria). Both revenue lines are benefitting from improved monetisation of the customer base and the success of the MIA product range. The number of partner dealers in Germany decreased slightly compared with the end of the fourth quarter of 2018. The number of partner dealers in the European Core Countries remained largely stable compared with the end of the fourth quarter of 2018. Other Revenue was likewise within the expected range in the first quarter of 2019. Ordinary operating EBITDA increased significantly by 42.5% compared with the first quarter of 2018 to EUR 24.8 million. Measured by ordinary operating EBITDA margin, the segment’s profitability improved year on year by 9.9 percentage points (or 10.2 percentage points compared with the adjusted margin for Q1 2018) due to the strong operating leverage, reaching 54.8% in the first quarter of 2019 (Q1 2018: 44.9%, Q1 2018 adjusted: 44.6%).

In view of the segment’s strong operating performance in the first quarter of 2019, the Group is highly confident that the segment will reach the upper end of guidance communicated in the 2018 annual report (adjusted revenue growth of between 12.0% and 14.0%, ordinary operating EBITDA margin of up to 54.0%).

 

Scout24 Consumer Services (CS)

The CS segment generated external revenue of EUR 38.5 million in the first quarter of 2019, up 59.4% on the first quarter of 2018 (Q1 2018: EUR 24.1 million). A key factor contributing to the increase compared with the first quarter of 2018 was the acquisition of FINANZCHECK.de and its subsequent consolidation. Adjusted revenue growth, i.e. as if FINANZCHECK.de had already been part of the Scout24 Group since 1 January 2018, was 19.1%. The increase was primarily due to Revenue with Finance Partners, including the FINANZCHECK.de contribution, and Services Revenue. Growth drivers included in particular the intensified monetisation of our offering for users, particularly through the continuing success of premium membership. Third-Party Display Revenue also showed a sound development compared with the first quarter of the previous year. At EUR 5.1 million, ordinary operating EBITDA was below the previous-year level as expected on account of the negative contribution from FINANZCHECK.de (Q1 2018: EUR 8.4 million). The ordinary operating EBITDA margin thus came to 13.3% in the first quarter of 2019 (Q1 2018: 35.0%, adjusted for consolidation effects, i.e. as if FINANZCHECK.de had already been part of the Scout24 Group since 1 January 2018: 22.0%). The development of ordinary operating EBITDA in the first quarter of 2019 reflected increased capital expenditure to optimise the product range as well as greater advertising expenditure to promote future growth.

The CS segment is well on track to achieving the targets communicated in the 2018 annual report (adjusted revenue growth of between 15.0% and 17.0%, slight decrease in the ordinary operating EBITDA margin as a result of the negative FINANZCHECK.de contribution although it should still reach up to 30.0%).

Outlook

The business development in the first quarter of 2019 is in line with the Management Board’s expectations. The Management Board therefore reaffirms that the corporate targets it published on 25 March 2019 for the 2019 financial year can be reached. For a detailed forecast, we refer to the 2018 annual report, which is available on our company website at report.scout24.com.

About Scout24

We are creating a networked system for housing and mobility with our leading digital marketplaces: ImmobilienScout24 in Germany and Austria and AutoScout24 in Europe. More than 1,500 employees make it possible for our users to quickly and easily find their new home or car. Scout24 Consumer Services also offers additional customized support by brokering, for example, relocation, construction, and car financing services. Scout24 AG is a listed stock corporation and is traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (ISIN: DE000A12DM80 / DE000A2TSEV4, ticker: G24 / G24Z). Further information is available at www.scout24.com, on our Corporate Blog andTech Blog or on Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

Media relations

Jan Flaskamp

Vice President Communications & Marketing

Tel.: +49 30 24301 0721

Email: mediarelations@scout24.com

 

Investor relations

Britta Schmidt

Vice President Investor Relations & Controlling

Tel.: +49 89 44456 3278           

Email: ir@scout24.com

 

[1], 2 I.e. taking into account the contribution of FINANZCHECK.de and without the contributions of the deconsolidated entities AS24 Spain and classmarkets in the first quarter of 2018