Berlin / Munich, 13 August 2018 –
First half of financial year 2018
- Revenues up by 9.7% to EUR 251.2 million
- Ordinary operating EBITDA-Margin up 1.6 pp to 55.3%
- Well on track to achieve guidance for full year
According to the unaudited, yet reviewed by the auditor, consolidated financial statements, Group revenues for the first half-year 2018 increased by 9.7% to EUR 251.2 million. Group ordinary operating EBITDA improved at a disproportionately higher rate of 13.0% to EUR 138.8 million, yielding a margin of 55.3%. Cash contribution increased by 6.3% against the comparable period in 2017, offset by as expected higher levels of capital expenditure in the first half of 2018, related to higher product development activities and taking into account the extraordinary investment related to the office relocation in Munich.
“We have seen continued momentum across all three verticals in the first half of 2018 and have built a solid base to grow further from in the second half of 2018. We are especially happy with the performance in ImmobilienScout24, which lets us look even more confident into the second half of 2018. We now expect to reach growth levels at the upper end of the range of the full year guidance we gave to the market at the beginning of the year in terms of revenue growth. With all businesses on track, we continue to focus on delivering on our strategy of enhancing our market network, improving consumer experience and tracing more steps along the consumer journey in the digital world. We recently did a strategic acquisition to this end by buying FINANZCHECK.de, a leading German fintech company. It’s a perfect fit to our Consumer Services business and will enable us to enhance our financing offering, especially in the area of car financing,” said Greg Ellis, CEO of Scout24 AG.
"Since our IPO, we have now concluded the eleventh consecutive quarter of year-on-year top- and bottom-line growth, delivering on our financial targets and impressively underlining our successful growth story. This persistently strong financial performance builds a solid foundation for the further development of our Group and is also reflected in the favourable financing conditions that we achieved in our early refinancing of our bank loan. Given the extensive usage of our marketplaces and the synergies between them, we are convinced that there is more significant revenue potential ahead on our way to a leading market network around the real estate sector in Germany and automotive sector in Europe,” said Christian Gisy, Chief Financial Officer of Scout24 AG.
Further growth of ImmobilienScout24, AutoScout24 and Scout24 Consumer Services
Scout24 continued its successful development in the first half of 2018, supported by the sustained positive development in the ImmobilienScout24 segment and sustained growth in the AutoScout24 and Scouot24 Consumer Services segments.
The growth acceleration of 5.2% in external revenues of ImmobilienScout24 compared to the second half of 2017 (in H2 2017 the growth rate stood at 2.4%) is mainly attributable to growth in revenue with residential real estate partners and revenue with business real estate partners. Revenue with residential real estate partners were mostly driven by a growth in the number of residential real estate partners of 10.2%, marking a continued trend in the real estate partner count. The number of real estate partners had stabilised mid-2017 and has since then continued to increase on the back of low churn rates, as well as high customer regain and new acquisition rates, reflecting high customer satisfaction levels and solid sales force delivery. ImmobilienScout24 continued to expand its leading market position during the first half of 2018 and managed to increase its competitive lead in terms of both listings, despite the market trend of decreasing average durations of listings, and traffic share compared to the first half of 2017.
The AutoScout24 segment is still on a strong growth course with a plus of 15.4% in external revenues, mainly attributable to revenue with dealers in both Germany and dealers in core European countries, which now also includes Austria as a core country. As the number of dealer partners in Germany and dealer partners in European core countries remained mainly stable throughout the first half of the year, due to already high market penetration, revenue growth was mainly driven by price adjustment measures implemented as well as additional volume through the MIA product range, for example the 360-degree option for car exposés. Revenue with auto manufacturers, though still small in magnitude, grew strongly, underlining the growing relevance of the AutoScout24 platform for this customer group. Based on the number of listings, AutoScout24 is still the market leader in Belgium (including Luxembourg), the Netherlands, Italy and Austria. In Germany, AutoScout24 recorded its listings inventory at a constantly high level of more than one million listings per month on average, and continues to work towards closing the gap to the closest competitor.
Scout24 Consumer Services was established as an independent segment starting 1 January 2018 and is reported starting Q1 2018. It comprises all activities in the area of services along the value chain of the real estate or automobile market and around advertisements from non-real estate or non-automotive-related third parties. The increase of 12.0% in segment external revenues in H1 2018 was mainly driven by services revenue and revenue with finance partners. In particular, services revenue showed a positive boost on the back of the success of the Premium Membership product. 3rd party display revenue also grew significantly and showed a recovery from a slower first half 2017.
Scout24 reported a successful half-year in 2018 with 9.7% revenue growth and an ordinary operating EBITDA margin of 55.3%, fully in line with the guidance given for financial year 2018 as communicated in the Annual Report 2017 respectively adjusted for the new accounting regulations with the publication of the Q1 2018 statement.
The online advertising outlook in Germany and Europe remains positive as both consumers and customers become increasingly digital. Scout24 is well positioned to benefit from this structural shift due to the market leading positions of its ImmobilienScout24 and AutoScout24 platforms, with both divisions benefiting from the shift of marketing budgets from traditional marketing channels to online. Scout24 Consumer Services takes this trend and the increasing expectations of the partners and users of Scout24 regarding digitisation along the whole process of buying or selling real estate and cars into account. Due to the intensive usage of the marketplaces ImmobilienScout24 and AutoScout24 and also on the back of the synergies between ImmobilienScout24 and AutoScout24, Scout24 is well positioned to further exploit the potential in this area as well and to position Scout24 as a market network around real estate and automotive in Germany and in Europe. The Group’s profitable growth is especially driven by revenues from agent and dealer partners and as well by revenues from increasing consumer monetisation along the value chain of real estate or automotive.
The Management is confident that this momentum will continue in the second half 2018 and expects Group revenue to record a growth rate between 9% and 11%, as previously guided for. Reflecting the scalable nature of the business model, the total cost base should grow at a disproportionally lower rate than revenues. Management anticipates, that total cost base should grow at a lower rate in the second half of 2018 on a full-year comparison and is therefore confident to reach an ordinary operating EBITDA margin between 56.0% and 57.5%.
On 18 July 2018, Scout24 signed an agreement to acquire all shares of FFG FINANZCHECK Finanzportale GmbH ("FINANZCHECK.de"), a German online comparison portal for consumer loans. A consolidation of FINANZCHECK.de as of 1 September 2018 into the Scout24 Group, which is subject to anti-trust approval anticipated for September 2018, would have the following effects on the outlook described above: Group revenues for financial year 2018 would increase by another ca. EUR 12 million, bringing the anticipated growth rate to 11.5% to 13.5%. Due to a negative contribution of FINANZCHECK.de of a low single digit Euro million figure to ordinary operating EBITDA, the ordinary operating EBITDA-margin range would be lowered, to 54.5% and 56.0%. Furthermore, additional costs related to post-merger integration would occur.
Overview of Financial Results
The table below provides a summary overview of the Group’s performance for the first half year and second quarter ended June 30, 2018.
Ordinary operating EBITDA
Ordinary operating EBITDA-margin
* The following change has been implemented compared to the reported 2017 financials: IFRS 15 was applied as of 1 January 2018 and 2017 financials have been restated retrospectively; IFRS 16 is also applied as of 1 January 2018, the 2017 financials have not been restated retrospectively.
The full half-year financial report including financial statements and additional details on segment level is available at www.scout24.com/ financial-reports.
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. 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 Blog, or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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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.
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 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.