Berlin / Munich, 28 March 2018 –
Positive outlook for 2018
- Robust topline growth with revenues up 8.5% to EUR 479.8 million
- Strong increase in profitability with ordinary operating EBITDA up 12.6% to EUR 252.8 million yielding a margin of 52.7%
- Management and Supervisory Board propose a dividend of EUR 0.56 per share
- Expected revenue growth rate for 2018 between 9% and 11%
According to the audited consolidated financial statements published today, Group revenues for the financial year 2017 increased by 8.5% from EUR 442.1 million to EUR 479.8 million. Group ordinary operating EBITDA was up 12.6% from EUR 224.5 million to EUR 252.8 million, increasing the respective margin from 50.8% to 52.7%. Cash contribution increased by another 12.2%, supporting ongoing financial flexibility and the establishment of a sustainable dividend policy. These figures fully confirm the preliminary financial results published on 13 February 2018.
"2017 was another successful year for Scout24 from both a financial and an operational perspective. We have driven our revenue growth mainly organically. Moreover, we have transformed our company from a pure online classifieds player into a market network around real estate and automotive with added services along both value chains. This puts us in an excellent position for further growth. Our consumer services initiatives are driving the monetisation of our constantly growing service offering with further innovative products in the pipeline. Thus, we look forward to another year of growth and innovative milestones in 2018,” said Greg Ellis, Chief Executive Officer of Scout24 AG.
“In 2017, we have again delivered on our financial targets, partly even exceeding them. Our unique market positioning allows us to continue to leverage synergies between the businesses of ImmobilienScout24 and AutoScout24. We drive monetization via topline growth and margin expansion across all verticals,” said Christian Gisy, Chief Financial Officer of Scout24 AG.
Consistent further development into a market network pays off
The strategy of consistently focusing on users' needs, boosting the listings base, improving service offerings through additional value-added products, as well as the evolution from a pure online classifieds portal to a market network is paying off. The key drivers of the strong results were a solid development in ImmobilienScout24 (IS24) on the back of continued positive momentum in core agent revenues, further growth in AutoScout24 (AS24) through a strong ARPU (average revenue per core dealer per month) expansion and a continued monetisation along the value chains of real estate and automotive driven by the group-wide consumer services initiatives.
The monetisation initiatives around service offerings across the entire real estate selling and rental process, was further improved and expanded. Overall, on the back of its broad offering, tailored to users’ needs, Scout24 managed to cement its position as a market network around real estate and automotive in Germany and Europe.
ImmobilienScout24 and AutoScout24 increase revenues and traffic
ImmobilienScout24 increased revenues in the 2017 financial year by 5.0% from EUR 285 million to EUR 299 million. As in the previous year, the largest revenue share is attributable to revenues from core agents. The monthly revenue growth was driven by a 7.3% increase to EUR 763 for the full 2017 year (2016: EUR 711), while IS24 increased the number of core agents slightly over the previous year. With product innovations such as the new commercial space search, the premium membership as well as the agent search, IS24 further expanded its service offerings and market position. IS24 increased consumer traffic in the 2017 financial year by 13% up to 81 million sessions per month (2016: 72 million) and the time spent compared to the nearest competitor by a factor of 2.7 (2016: 2.6). Although the number of listings on the market network declined slightly in line with market developments (around 445,000 listings in December 2017 compared with around 466,000 in December 2016), the market share was also increased here. The number of listings compared to the nearest competitor raised from 1.6 times in 2016 to 1.8 times in 2017.
Revenues in the AutoScout24 segment were up 15% in the 2017 financial year from EUR 152 million up to EUR 175 million. Revenues increased from core dealers in Germany and the core markets Benelux/Italy by around 19% year-on-year in 2017. Main growth driver here was also the average revenue per month per core dealer, which increased in 2017 by 11% compared to 2016 in the core markets. In 2017, AS24 increased the number of visits by 5% to 85 million (2016: 81 million) with product innovations such as price valuation and AutoScout360, as well as additional marketing. The number of listings remained stable in these countries.
Scout24 pays out dividend
Management Board and Supervisory Board propose to the Annual General Meeting to pay out a dividend of EUR 0.56 per dividend-entitled share, reflecting a pay-out ratio of 40% of adjusted net income (2016: EUR 0.30/share, pay-out ratio 29%). This corresponds to a total distribution of EUR 60.3 million for financial year 2017 (2016: EUR 32.3 million). Based on the share price as of 29 December 2017, this corresponds to a dividend yield of 1.6%.
The trend in ordinary operating EBITDA reflects the success of Scout24’s overall strategy with a focus on sustainable and profitable revenue growth. In 2017, the 8.5% increase in revenues was mainly driven organically. 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 networked marketplaces, as well as to further grow profitability. Moreover, Scout24 continued to successfully advance the realignment of its organisation and promoted the leveraging of synergies across the Group.
The Management Board is therefore confident that the Group's growth momentum will continue in 2018. Specifically, Group revenues are expected to record a growth rate between 9% and 11% while the cost base should grow at a disproportionally lower rate, based on the scalable nature of the business model. The Management Board therefore expects ordinary operating EBITDA margin to yield between 54.0% and 55.5%.
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 2017.
Ordinary operating EBITDA
Reconciliation of management fee
Ordinary operating EBITDA – margin %
Cash and cash equivalents
Net financial debt
Employees (FTEs, end of period)
The complete financial statements and management report for the financial year 2017 is available at report.scout24.com/2017
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.
Vice President Communications & Marketing
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Email: [email protected]
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 Annual Report 2017 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.