DGAP-News: Scout24 AG / Key word(s): Final Results
Scout24 AG announces record 2016 results and robust outlook for 2017
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.
The table below provides a summary overview of the Group's performance for the fourth quarter and the financial year ended 31 December 2016.
The complete financial statements and management report for the financial year 2016 is available at report.scout24.com/2016.
Business Development and Group results
Ordinary operating EBITDA increased by 18.4 % from EUR 189.6 million to EUR 224.5 million. This translates into a significantly increased ordinary operating EBITDA margin of 50.8 % (2015: 48.2 %), further underlining our profitability.
Reported Group EBITDA for the financial year 2016 was affected by non-operating costs of EUR 17.8 million. The non-operating costs essentially consist of personnel expenses as well as costs in the context of M&A transactions. Personnel expenses include personnel expenses from share-based compensation for management equity programs totalling to EUR 4.1 million as well as performance-based remuneration from share purchase agreements totalling to EUR 2.8 million.
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 %.
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.
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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.
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