Munich / Berlin, 13 August 2019 - Scout24 AG, a leading operator of digital marketplaces specialising in the real estate and automotive sectors in Germany and other selected European countries, is continuing its dynamic and very profitable growth path.
- Group revenue grows by about 20% to more than EUR 300 million
- Ordinary operating EBITDA margin reaches 51.2%
- AutoScout24 delivers compelling high growth
- Management Board confirms targets for full year 2019
In the first six months of 2019, the company posted double-digit growth rates for both revenue and earnings. Scout24 is thus fully on track to reach its targets for the full year and, in turn, achieve an increase in revenue of between 15% and 17% combined with an ordinary operating EBITDA margin of between 52% and 54%. The continuation of profitable growth will be driven by the Scout24 strategic measures announced in mid-July. For the first six months of 2019, Scout24 increased Group revenue by 19.7% to EUR 300.7 million (H1 2018: EUR 251.2 million). Adjusted for consolidation effects , the growth rate was equivalent to 13.6%. The Group’s ordinary operating EBITDA grew by 10.9% to EUR 153.9 million (H1 2018: EUR 138.8 million). Like-for-like, the adjusted growth rate of 14.3% thus exceeded the revenue growth rate. In the first six months of the year, the ordinary operating EBITDA margin reached 51.2%, thus also exceeding the comparable value of the previous-year period (H1 2018 adjusted: 50.8%; H1 2018: 55.2%). Scout24 was able to significantly increase its cash contribution by 18.6% to EUR 143.1 million (H1 2018: EUR 120.7 million).
All operating segments of Scout24 AG contributed to these outstanding results in the first half of the year with strong revenue growth in the high single-digit to double-digit range. ImmobilienScout24 and AutoScout24 were able to benefit from their strong business customer base and increased revenue per customer, while the acquisition and consolidation of FINANZCHECK.de had a positive impact on the Scout24 Consumer Services segment.
On 19 July 2019, Scout24 announced its strategic roadmap to enhance long-term value creation. The associated further development of the strategy encompasses the autonomous positioning of the core verticals ImmobilienScout24 (“IS24”) and AutoScout24 (“AS24”). The products and solutions of the third operating segment so far, Consumer Services (“CS”), will be integrated into IS24 and AS24. In addition, the operating efficiency will be optimized further.
Backed by the sustained high generation of free cash flow, the aim is also to further optimise the capital structure. Aside from capital expenditure in the core verticals, distributions to the shareholders, and a further decrease in debt, a share buy-back programme will be started totalling EUR 300 million of the current share capital.
“We are very satisfied with the strong growth in revenue and earnings in the first six months of the year. As we have laid out in our strategic roadmap on July 19, we are fully committed to strengthen the focus on our two key verticals to sharpen operational efficiency and provide greater flexibility to pursue strategic options for two more autonomous verticals, ImmoScout24 and AutoScout24. In continuing to assess the merits of such flexibility we have commenced a strategic review of alternatives for AutoScout24 with the objective to enhance long-term shareholder value. An update on the progress of this review will be provided at our Capital Markets Day on November 26,” Tobias Hartmann, CEO of Scout24 AG, said in reference to the development.
Overview of key financial indicators
The table below provides a detailed overview of the Group's financial indicators in the first six months ended 30 June 2019.
Ordinary operating EBITDA1
Capital expenditure (adjusted)5
* 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.
** Taking into account the contribution of FINANZCHECK.de and without the contributions of the deconsolidated entities AS24 Spain and classmarkets in 2018
1Ordinary 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.
2EBITDA is defined as profit before net finance expenses, income taxes, depreciation and amortisation, impairment losses and gains or losses on the sale of subsidiaries.
3Cash contribution is defined as ordinary operating EBITDA less capital expenditure (adjusted).
4The cash conversion rate is defined as ordinary operating EBITDA less capital expenditure divided by ordinary operating EBITDA.
5Capital expenditure (adjusted) does not include capital expenditure made due to the application of IFRS 16.
The Group interim report for the first half and second quarter of 2019 including the interim consolidated financial statements and additional details on segment level is available at www.scout24.com/financial-reports.
Business performance of the Group: Significant improvement in revenue and earnings
Scout24 once again performed very successfully in the first six months of 2019, buoyed by strong growth in the AutoScout24 and Consumer Services segments as well as sustained positive momentum in the ImmobilienScout24 segment. Group revenue rose by 19.7% to EUR 300.7 million (H1 2018: EUR 251.2 million). Adjusted for consolidation effects, the growth rate came to 13,6% (H1 2018 adjusted revenue: EUR 264.7 million).
The Group’s ordinary operating EBITDA increased in the first six months of 2019 to EUR 153.9 million (H1 2018: EUR 138.8 million; adjusted: EUR 134.6 million), while the corresponding margin reached 51.2% (H1 2018 adjusted: 50.8%; H1 2018: 55.2%). This is equivalent to a growth rate of 10.9%, or of 14.3% on an adjusted basis. The Group’s EBITDA decreased by 7.1% to EUR 121.7 million (H1 2018: EUR 131.0 million). That includes non-operating costs of EUR 32.2 million (H1 2018: EUR 7.8 million), which mainly comprise personnel expenses (EUR 22.9 million, mainly in connection with share-based compensation (EUR 21.5 million), and costs related to M&A activities as well as post-merger integration (EUR 8.8 million). The Group’s net profit attributable to shareholders of the parent company amounted to EUR 52.1 million (H1 2018: EUR 66.4 million), resulting in basic earnings per share of EUR 0.48 (H1 2018: EUR 0.62).
With revenue growth of 19.7% (adjusted for consolidation effects: revenue growth of 13.6%) and an ordinary operating EBITDA margin of 51.2%, the Group reaffirm the 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 with continued positive development
IS24 revenue grew by 8.2% to EUR 132.3 million in the reporting period (H1 2018: EUR 122.3 million). Adjusted for consolidation effects, revenue grew by 9.1%, which is in line with the outlook for the full year 2019 (revenue growth of between 8.0% and 10.0% and on an adjusted basis between 9.0% and 11.0%). This development was driven by Revenue with Business Real Estate Partners and Revenue with Residential Real Estate Partners, as a result of the improved monetisation of the existing contractual customer base, combined with a further increase in the number of residential and business real estate partners. The segment’s ordinary operating EBITDA increased by 7.9% compared with the previous year to EUR 90.2 million. As a result, the ordinary operating EBITDA margin reached 68.2% (H1 2018: 68.3%; adjusted: 68.7%).
AutoScout24 continues to deliver dynamic growth
AS24 revenue increased in the first six months of 2019 by 15.5% to EUR 91.5 million (H1 2018: EUR 79.2 million). Adjusted for consolidation effects, revenue grew by 20.0%, The development of revenue thus exceeded expectations for the full year. This is mainly attributable to the substantially higher ARPU  from dealer customers, both in Germany and in the other European Core Countries (Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Italy and Austria). Both benefited from improved monetisation of the customer base and the success of the MIA product range. Whereas the number of dealer partners in Germany was still in decline in the first quarter of 2019, dealer numbers steadied again in the second quarter of 2019. All measures to optimise the customer base are still expected to be completed by the end of 2019 as planned. The number of dealer partners in the European Core Countries remained largely stable compared with the first six months of 2018. This led to a correspondingly significant improvement in ordinary operating EBITDA of 31.2% to EUR 51.2 million and an ordinary operating EBITDA-margin of 56.0% (H1 2018: EUR 39.1 million, 49.3%).
Scout24 Consumer Services with significant increase in margin relative to the previous quarter
CS revenue climbed 55.1% to EUR 76.9 in the first six months of the year (H1 2018: EUR 49.5 million). A key factor contributing to the increase was the acquisition and subsequent consolidation of FINANZCHECK.de, which impacted Revenue with Finance Partners. Adjusted revenue growth, i.e. as if FINANZCHECK.de had already been part of the Scout24 Group since 1 January 2018, was 14.6% in the first six months of 2019. Services Revenue also made a substantial contribution to the positive development, in particular due to the continued success of Premium Membership, while Third-Party Display Revenue showed solid growth. At EUR 16.6 million, the segment’s ordinary operating EBITDA was, as previously announced, below last years levels on account of the negative contribution from FINANZCHECK.de (H1 2018: EUR 19.9 million). The ordinary operating EBITDA margin thus reached 21.6% in the first six months of 2019 (H1 2018: 40.2%; adjusted: 26.3%). Reflecting the advertising expenses incurred in the first quarter of 2019, as is customary in the sector, the margin increased substantially over the course of the year, already reaching 29.8% in the second quarter of 2019 (Q1 2019: 13.3%).
Outlook – firmly focused on the full year 2019
Scout24 is well on track to achieving the targets communicated for the 2019 financial year in view of the positive development in the first six months of the year. The Management Board expects this growth momentum to continue in the last six months of 2019 and Group revenue to grow by 15.0% to 17.0% in the 2019 financial year. Adjusted for consolidation effects, the percentage growth rate will range between the low to mid-teens. In view of further investment in the growth of FINANZCHECK.de, an ordinary operating EBITDA margin ranging between 52.0% and 54.0% is anticipated. Adjusted for consolidation effects, this corresponds to a low single-digit percentage increase in the margin.
For IS24, revenue growth adjusted for consolidation effects for the full year is expected to range between 9.0% and 11.0%, with an anticipated unadjusted revenue growth rate between 8.0% and 10.0%. Ordinary operating EBITDA is expected to reach a slightly higher growth rate as a result of operating leverage. The ordinary operating EBITDA margin for the full year 2019 should thus climb to as much as 70.0%. Revenue of AS24 should increase between 12.0% to 14.0%. That corresponds to an unadjusted revenue growth of between 9.0% and 11.0%. Owing to the operating leverage, the Management Board expects growth of ordinary operating EBITDA to exceed revenue growth. The ordinary operating EBITDA margin should thus climb to as much as 54.0%. Adjusted Consumer Services revenue for the full year will likely increase by between 15.0% and 17.0%. That corresponds to an unadjusted revenue growth percentage rate ranging between the high 30s and low 40s. Despite the negative contribution of FINANZCHECK.de, as announced, the ordinary operating EBITDA margin will still reach as much as 30.0%.
The Annual General Meeting of Scout24 AG will be held in Munich on 30 August 2019.
Scout24 plans to host a Capital Market Day on 26 November 2019.
With our leading digital marketplaces ImmobilienScout24 in Germany and Austria and AutoScout24 across Europe we are creating a connected network for living and mobility. More than 1,500 employees empower our users to find their new home or their new car quickly and easily. Individual additional services, such as the brokerage of relocation services or construction and car financing, by Scout24 Consumer Services support this purpose. Scout24 AG 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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