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SCOUT24 AG (FRA:DE000A12) DGAP-News: Scout24 AG: Scout24 further cementing its leading market position

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DGAP-News: Scout24 AG / Key word(s): Interim Report/Half Year Results Scout24 AG: Scout24 further cementing its leading market position 11.08.2016 / 07:30 The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Scout24 further cementing its leading market position - 14.2% increase in Group revenues to EUR 215.9 million - Ordinary operating EBITDA margin of 50.7% - Strong increase of cash contribution by 14.4% underpinning fast balance sheet deleveraging - Full year 2016 targets confirmed with margins now expected at high end of range Berlin / Munich, 11 August 2016 - Scout24 AG ("Scout24" or "the Group"), the leading operator of digital marketplaces specializing in the real estate and automotive sectors in Germany and other selected European countries, announces its results for the first half-year and the second quarter of the financial year 2016. According to the unaudited, yet reviewed by the auditor, consolidated financial statements, Group revenues for the first six months ending June 30, 2016 increased by 14.2% to EUR 215.9 million (H1 2015: EUR 189.1 million). Group ordinary operating EBITDA was up 14.6% to EUR 109.4 million, representing a margin of 50.7%. Furthermore, cash contribution (ordinary operating EBITDA reduced by investments) increased strongly by 14.4%, underpinning the Group's ability to swiftly delever its balance sheet. "Our business performance during the first half of 2016 is further proof that Scout24 continues to be the leading marketplace to both our audiences and our customers and that we are on a dynamic and steady growth track." said Greg Ellis, CEO of Scout24 Group and added: "We are highly confident that we will meet our full year targets for 2016 and are very exited about the Company's long term growth prospects." "Scout24 continued on its growth path and, once again, proved its strong financial performance. We were able to make a voluntary partial repayment towards the existing syndicated loan of EUR 40.0 million and completely finance the acquisition of AutoTrader.nl (European Autotrader B.V.) with the amount of EUR 27.7 million from our operating cash flow. As a result our strong cash position offers possibility for further debt reduction as well as potential further acquisitions", said Christian Gisy, Chief Financial Officer of Scout24 AG. Overview of Financial Results The table below provides a summary overview of the Group's performance for the first half-year and the second quarter ended June 30, 2016.
(EUR millions)     Q2 2016   Q2 2015  +/-     H1 2016   H1 2015  +/-
External             110.1      96.4  14.2%     215.9     189.1     14.2%
revenues
IS24                  71.1      65.2   9.0%     140.2     129.1      8.6%
AS24                  37.6      29.8  26.2%      72.7      57.4     26.7%
Ordinary              57.2      49.8  14.9%     109.4      95.5     14.6%
operating
EBITDA1
IS24                  45.5      39.8  14.3%      87.9      78.2     12.4%
AS24                  15.9      12.9  23.3%      29.8      23.6     26.3%
Ordinary             52.0%     51.7%  0.3pp     50.7%     50.5%     0.2pp
operating
EBITDA-margin
IS24                 64.0%     61.0%  3.0pp     62.7%     60.6%     2.1pp
AS24                 42.3%     43.3%  1.0pp     41.0%     41.1%  (0.1) pp
EBITDA2               51.1      43.7  16.9%      99.7      84.8     17.6%
IS24                  40.2      37.6   6.9%      79.5      73.2      8.6%
AS24                  13.4      11.6  15.5%      26.0      21.6     20.4%
Capital                4.7       4.3   9.3%       9.6       8.3     15.7%
expenditure
Cash                  52.5      45.5  15.4%      99.8      87.2     14.4%
contribution3
1 Ordinary operating EBITDA represents EBITDA adjusted for non-operating and special effects, ordinary operating EBITDA margin of a segment is defined as ordinary operating EBITDA as a percentage of external segment revenues. 2 EBITDA is defined as profit before financial results, income taxes, depreciation and amortisation, impairment write-downs and the result of sales of subsidiaries. 3 Cash contribution is defined as ordinary operating EBITDA less capital expenditure. The full half-year financial report including financial statements and additional details on segment level is available at www.scout24.com/ financial-reports. Business Development Group Driven by the launch of the visibility products at AutoScout24 ("AS24"), a consistent expansion of activities as part of services for users through Scout24 Media, and targeted, portfolio-enhancing corporate acquisitions Scout24 continued on its growth path in the first half-year of 2016. Reported Group EBITDA for the first half-year of 2016 was up EUR 14.9 million compared to the first half-year of 2015, reaching EUR 99.7 million. Included here are EUR 9.6 million of non-operating costs (H1 2015: EUR 10.6 million), reflecting EUR 4.0 million of personnel expenses connected with reorganisation measures (H1 2015: EUR 3.1 million), EUR 2.2 million for the Management Equity Program, EUR 2.0 million of costs connected with corporate acquisitions, and EUR 1.2 million of obligations from purchase agreements. Non-operating costs in the second quarter of 2016 amounted to EUR 6.1 million. Ordinary operating EBITDA in the first half of 2016 was up by 14.6% compared with the first half of 2015 to reach EUR 109.4 million. Consolidated net income attributable to parent company owners amounted to EUR 29.5 million in the reporting period (H1 2015: EUR 40.3 million), which corresponds to EUR 0.28 of earnings per share (H1 2015: EUR 0.40). The cash contribution in the first half of 2016 was up by EUR 12.6 million, or by EUR 7.1 million in the second quarter, compared with the respective equivalent period of 2015. The Cash Conversion Rate, based on ordinary operating EBITDA, remained stable at 91.3%. Cash and cash equivalents amounted to EUR 56.4 million as of June 30, 2016 (December 31, 2015: EUR 70.6 million). Net financial debt (nominal value of interest bearing liabilities less cash and cash equivalents) amounted to EUR 685.4 million, compared with EUR 711.3 million as of December 31, 2015. The ratio of net debt to ordinary operating EBITDA over the last 12 months was reduced to 3.36:1 (December 31, 2015: 3.74:1). ImmobilienScout24 (IS24)
(EUR millions)   Q2 2016    Q2 2015    +/-    H1 2016    H1 2015    +/-
Revenue from          38.8       37.2   4.3%       77.9       72.9   6.9%
core agents
(Germany)
Revenue from           8.9        8.4   6.0%       17.4       17.1   1.8%
other agents
Other revenues        23.4       19.6  19.4%       44.9       39.1  14.8%
Total external        71.1       65.2   9.0%      140.2      129.1   8.6%
revenues
Ordinary              45.5       39.8  14.3%       87.9       78.2  12.4%
operating
EBITDA
Ordinary             64.0%      61.0%  3.0pp      62.7%      60.6%  2.1pp
operating
EBITDA - margin
%
EBITDA                40.2       37.6   6.9%       79.5       73.2   8.6%
Capital                2.6        2.3  13.0%        5.2        4.6  13.0%
expenditure
External revenues of the IS24 segment remain on their growth track, reporting 8.6% year-on-year growth to reach EUR 140.2 million in the period under review (H1 2015: EUR 129.1 million). The largest revenue share is attributable to revenue from core agents, which was up by 6.9% to EUR 77.9 million (H1 2015: EUR 72.9 million). This growth was driven by ARPU (average revenue per core agent) up 23.4% to EUR 703 for the first half of 2016 (H1 2015: EUR 569), which compensated for a declining number of core agents. The average number of core agents decreased by 2,870 compared with the first half of 2015 from 21,349 to 18,479 as a result of churn, smaller agents shifting to the professional pay-per-ad model, and agents going out of business following the introduction of the so-called "Bestellerprinzip" in June 2015. The revenues of other agents remained stable year-on-year with a growth rate of 1.8%, mainly due to slightly decreasing revenues in the area of professional pay-per-ad revenues due to a decrease in booking numbers after the introduction of the "Bestellerprinzip". This negative trend was offset mainly by higher revenues from real estate marketplaces in Austria. Consumer monetization initiatives, driven by the cross-Group function Scout24 Media, was the main reason for the 14.8% growth of other revenues of EUR 44.9 million in the first half of 2016 (H1 2015: EUR 39.1 million). The private classifieds also made a positive contribution to revenue growth due to rising booking figures as a result of the "Bestellerprinzip". Here included are EUR 0.8 million revenues of classmarkets GmbH, Berlin ("classmarkets"), which was acquired on September 8, 2015. Importantly, IS24 has increased its listing market share versus its closest competitor (from 1.3x to 1.5x). IS24 maintained a strong competitive lead in consumer traffic and engagement (2.7x vs. closest competitor). AutoScout24 (AS24)
(EUR millions)     Q2 2016  Q2 2015  +/-      H1 2016  H1 2015  +/-
Revenue from core  13.5     10.3     31.1%    26.7     20.0     33.5%
dealers (Germany)
Revenue from core  12.6     8.9      41.6%    23.5     17.3     35.8%
dealers (Benelux/
Italy)
Revenue from       3.4      2.9      17.2%    6.7      5.6      19.6%
other dealers
Other revenues     8.2      7.7      6.5%     15.8     14.5     9.0%
Total external     37.6     29.8     26.2%    72.7     57.4     26.7%
revenues
Ordinary           15.9     12.9     23.3%    29.8     23.6     26.3%
operating EBITDA
Ordinary           42.3%    43.3%    (1.0)pp  41.0%    41.1%    (0.1)pp
operating EBITDA
-margin %
EBITDA             13.4     11.6     15.5%    26.0     21.6     20.4%
Capital            2.0      1.8      11.1%    4.3      3.4      26.5%
expenditure
Following the trend of the first quarter of 2016, external revenues in the AS24 segment reported a strong growth with an increase of 26.7% for the first half of 2016 compared with the first half of 2015. The average number of core dealers in Germany grew by 9.9% to 22,767 as of June 30, 2016 with an increase in core dealer ARPU (average revenue per core dealer) of 21.6% to 195 EUR compared with the first half of 2015 (H1 2015: EUR 161). A similarly positive trend is also evident in Benelux and Italy, where ARPU was up by 25.0% to EUR 217 (H1 2015: EUR 174), accompanied by a 8.6% higher average number of core dealers (including core dealers of AutoTrader.nl, excluding duplications). AutoTrader.nl contributed a total of EUR 2.9 million to revenue during the first half-year, with EUR 2.7 million being attributable to revenue from core dealers. easyautosale GmbH, Munich ("easyautosale"), which AS24 acquired in April 2015, made a EUR 1.3 million contribution in the first half of 2016 included in revenue from other dealers (H1 2015: EUR 0.4 million). Pressing ahead with the strategic focus on market leadership with regards to listings and continuous implementation of the strategy of new dealer aquisition, AS24 achieved growth of 16.3% in its listing inventory in Germany by reaching 1,254 thousand listings in June 2016 (compared with 1,077 thousand in June 2015). In addition AS24 extended its market leadership based on the number of listings in Belgium (including Luxembourg), the Netherlands and Italy. Outlook Scout24 reported a successful half-year of 2016 with 14.2% revenue growth and an ordinary operating EBITDA margin of 50.7%, which is fully in line with the Management's expectations as communicated in the Annual Report 2015 and has once again underlined the Group's ability to deliver sustainable and profitable revenue growth. The online advertising outlook in Germany and Europe remains positive as both consumers and customers are becoming increasingly digital. Scout24 is well positioned to benefit from this structural shift due to the market leading positions of our ImmobilienScout24 and AutoScout24 platforms, with both divisions benefiting from the shift of marketing budgets from traditional marketing channels (mainly print) to online marketing channels. The profitable growth is especially driven by revenues from core agent and core dealers partners as well as increasing consumer monetization. Management is confident that this momentum will continue in the second half of 2016, and expects group revenue to record a low double-digit percentage growth rate, in line with its guidance given in the Annual Report 2015. Reflecting the scalable nature of the business model, the cost base should grow at a disproportionally lower rate than revenues and combined with continually strong ARPU growth, Management now expects an ordinary operating EBITDA margin between 50.0% and 50.5% slightly above previous guidance given in the Annual Report 2015. IS24 is currently expected to achieve a mid-single digit percentage revenue growth rate in 2016, slightly lower than previous guidance given in the Annual Report 2015. This is due to lower than expected core agent revenues, while ARPU growth should remain strong in a high teens to low twenties range. The cost base should grow at a disproportionally slower rate than revenues. Together with a better product mix, Management now expects an ordinary operating EBITDA margin of at least 61.5% and representing the upper end of the previously guided range of 60.5% to 61.5%. Management expects AS24 (including the contribution of our recent acquisition Autotrader.nl) to grow stronger than previously expected, with a low twenties growth rate, with the ordinary operating EBITDA margin increasing to at least 41%. This development is mainly attributable to sustained ARPU growth driven by increasing visibility product penetration and some dealer growth. Moreover, Management expects 2016 total non-operating costs to amount to approximately EUR 16.0 million, approximately 1.5 million higher than previously guided, due to a higher non-recurring restructuring charge of approximately EUR 6.5 million (previously EUR 5.0 million). The increase is mainly driven by accelerated reorganization which Management expects to start yielding benefits in the coming quarters. As previously guided, capital expenditure will be slightly lower than in 2015. Conference Call On Thursday, August 11, 2016, 2:00 p.m. CEST, Scout24 will host a conference call and webcast for financial analysts and investors. You may dial in using the following numbers: DE: +4969222210640 UK: +442033645728 USA: +16462543373 Participant PIN code: 4799410 The webcast, as well as a replay, will be made available at: http://scout110816-live.audio-webcast.com Next events and reportings Scout24 expects to report results for the first nine months of the 2016 financial year on Wednesday, November 9, 2016. About Scout24 Scout24 operates leading digital classifieds platforms in Germany and other selected European countries. The main operations under the umbrella brand Scout24 are the digital marketplaces ImmobilienScout24 and AutoScout24. ImmobilienScout24 is the leading digital real estate classifieds platform in Germany, based on consumer traffic and time spent as well as customer numbers and listings. AutoScout24 is a leading automotive digital classifieds platform in Europe, in terms of unique monthly visitors and listings. Scout24's digital marketplaces are empowering people to realise their property and car-owning dreams simply, efficiently and stress-free. Further information is available at www.sout24.com. Investor Relations contact Britta Schmidt Vice President Investor Relations & Treasury Tel.: +49 89 44456 3278 Email: ir@scout24.com Press contact Svenja Lahrmann Instinctif Partners Tel.: +49 221 42075 23 Email: svenja.lahrmann@instinctif.com Disclaimer: 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. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 11.08.2016 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement. The DGAP Distribution Services include Regulatory Announcements, Financial/Corporate News and Press Releases. Archive at www.dgap.de --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Language: English Company: Scout24 AG Dingolfinger Str. 1 - 15 81673 Munich Germany Phone: +49 89 44456 - 0 Fax: +49 89 44456 - 3000 E-mail: ir@scout24.com Internet: www.scout24.com ISIN: DE000A12DM80 WKN: A12DM8 Indices: SDAX Listed: Regulated Market in Frankfurt (Prime Standard); Regulated Unofficial Market in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Hanover, Munich, Stuttgart, Tradegate Exchange End of News DGAP News Service --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 491357 11.08.2016