DGAP-News: Scout24 AG / Key word(s): Preliminary Results
Scout24 publishes preliminary results for 2018: double-digit growth rates in revenue and earnings
Berlin / Munich, 12 February 2019 - Scout24 AG ("Scout24" or "the Group"), a leading operator of digital marketplaces specialising in real estate and automotive sectors in Germany and other selected European countries, further accelerated its growth in the fourth quarter of 2018 and, based on the preliminary results for the 2018 financial year, increased Group revenues past the half a billion euros mark for the first time and the ordinary operating EBITDA margin to nearly 55%.
The preliminary figures indicate that Group revenues increased by 12.5% year on year to EUR 531.7 million (2017: EUR 472.6 million). This figure reflects a contribution of EUR 12.3 million attributable to the FINANZCHECK.de acquisition (or 2.6 percentage points). Group revenue growth, without FINANZCHECK.de, amounted to EUR 46.8 million or 9.9% (2018: EUR 519.4 million), which is fully in-line with the Company's guidance. This growth was primarily driven by measures to improve the monetisation of the portfolio of services across all three operating segments. The ImmobilienScout24 ("IS24") segment delivered a compelling performance by continuously accelerating revenue growth over the course of the financial year on the back of low churn rates, high customer win-back and new acquisition rates.
"Once again the Scout24 Team has delivered an exceptional set of results - both operational and financial - across all of our segments. I have been Scout24's CEO for a little less than three months but have already had the opportunity to interact with many of our customers and other market participants and the common theme from all these meetings is the incredible power of the Scout24 brand. The progress made with monetisation emphatically underscores the high resonance of our service offering among market participants," says Tobias Hartmann, CEO of Scout24 AG and added "With strong momentum across all three of our segments, we are looking into 2019 and beyond with great confidence."
Ordinary operating EBITDA for the 2018 financial year is expected to be EUR 291.5 million, up 15.3% on the prior year (2017: EUR 252.8 million). Excluding the contribution of FINANZCHECK.de, the ordinary operating EBITDA margin was 56.5% corresponding to a 3.0 percentage-point increase.
The cash contribution (ordinary operating EBITDA less capital expenditure) increased by EUR 33.2 million in the 2018 financial year to EUR 263.2 million, without FINANZCHECK.de by EUR 35.2 million to EUR 265.2 million (2017: EUR 230.0 million). Against the background of the acquisition of FINANZCHECK.de, the leverage ratio (ratio of net debt to ordinary operating EBITDA) is expected to stand at 2.6:1 (2017: 2.2:1). In the medium term, Scout24 continues to aim for a leverage ratio ranging between 1.5:1 and 1.0:1.
"Scout24 delivered another very successful financial year in 2018. Our record results for revenues and earnings underscore yet again the sustainably high growth potential of our business model. Our cash generation remains very strong, and as a result in the 2018 financial year we were able to distribute a significantly higher dividend to our shareholders and reduce debt by EUR 85 million. We were pleased by the success of our first issued promissory note ("Schuldschein"), and the refinancing of our bank liabilities, including the new credit facility with a dedicated credit line allowing us to support our growth strategy with the acquisition of FINANZCHECK.de with still providing additional flexibility. This demonstrates the confidence in the Group from the capital markets," says Christian Gisy, CFO of Scout24 AG.
Group preliminary EBITDA amounts to EUR 257.3 million (2017: EUR 232.8 million). It was burdened by higher than anticipated non-operating costs of EUR 34.2 million, which were mainly attributable to personnel expenses in connection with share-based compensation as well as expenses in connection with the Group's M&A activities. Capital expenditure (excluding capital expenditure resulting from the application of IFRS 16) came to EUR 28.3 million (2017: EUR 22.8 million).
Group earnings after tax are expected to reach EUR 165.0 million (2017: EUR 110.9 million). Preliminary earnings per share stand at EUR 1.53 (2017: EUR 1.03).
Based on the preliminary results of the financial year 2018, Scout24 confirms as well for 2019 the guidance as communicated during the Capital Markets Day held in Berlin in November 2017.
All figures published here are preliminary and unaudited. Full financial disclosure for financial year 2018, together with detailed management guidance for the financial year 2019 will be published on 25 March 2019.
Next reporting dates
The quarterly report for the first quarter of 2019 is scheduled to be published on Tuesday, 14 May 2019, and will likewise be accompanied by a conference call and a webcast for financial analysts and investors.
Creating Future Networks - Scout24 launches its digital storytelling around the Annual Report 2018
With our leading digital marketplaces ImmobilienScout24 in Germany and AutoScout24 across Europe we are inspiring people to make their best decisions on finding a home and a car. Additional services, such as credit information, the brokerage of relocation services or construction and car financing, are bundled in the Scout24 Consumer Services business division. More than 1,200 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 Blogor follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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
Scout24 also uses alternative performance measures, not defined by IFRS, to describe the Scout24 Group's results of operations. These should not be viewed in isolation, but treated as supplementary information. The special items used to calculate some alternative performance measures arise from the integration of acquired businesses, restructuring measures, impairments, gains or losses resulting from divestitures and sales of shareholdings, and other material expenses and income that generally do not arise in conjunction with Scout24's ordinary business activities. Alternative performance measures used by Scout24 are defined in the "Glossary" section of Scout24's H1 Group Interim Report 2018, which is available at www.scout24.com/financial-reports.
Due to rounding, numbers presented throughout this statement may not add up precisely to the totals indicated, and percentages may not precisely reflect the absolute figures for the same reason.
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