DGAP-News: Scout24 AG / Key word(s): Final Results
Scout24 AG announces record revenue and profit for the financial year 2017 and a positive outlook for 2018
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. The leverage ratio was reduced from 2.82 times to 2.22 times net debt to ordinary operating EBITDA of twelve months at the end of the financial year 2017. 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 value 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 several 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. We drive monetization via topline growth and margin expansion across all verticals," said Christian Gisy, Chief Financial Officer of Scout24 AG.
Overview of Financial Results
The complete financial statements and management report for the financial year 2017 are available at report.scout24.com/2017.
The monetisation initiatives around service offerings across the entire real estate selling and rental processes, 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.
Based on strong operating leverage and consequently a disproportionately lower growth rate in cost compared to revenues, consolidated ordinary operating EBITDA over the full course of 2017 was up by 12.6% to EUR 252.8 million, representing a 52.7% margin (2016: 50.8%).
Reported Group EBITDA for the financial year 2017 includes EUR 20.0 million of non-operating costs (previous year: EUR 17.8 million). These are mainly attributable to one-off costs in the context of M&A activities as well as higher expenses for the implemented reorganisation measures. Personnel expenses comprise chiefly EUR 7.6 million of expenses in connection with reorganisation measures as well as EUR 3.2 million from share-based compensation deriving from the management equity programs (2014 and 2015 programs, previous year: EUR 4.1 million) and EUR 3.0 million of performance-based remuneration from share purchase agreements (previous year: EUR 2.8 million).
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 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%.
Total non-operating costs are expected to amount to between EUR 8.0 million to EUR 11.0 million. This will include approximately EUR 1.0 million related to the office relocation in Munich. We expect non-recurring costs, mainly in the context of post-merger integration, of around EUR 3.5 million. Additionally, we expect EUR 3.0 million for share-based compensation for the programs launched in 2014, 2015 and 2016. We expect non-recurring charges related to reorganisations shall not to exceed EUR 3.0 million.
Capital expenditure is expected to sum up to around EUR 34.0 million, including a non-recurring investment of EUR 8.0 million into the new office space in Munich. The expected increase in other investments compared to 2017 is mainly driven by increased investment into product development fostering future growth across all three verticals.
Based on the increasing importance of our Scout24 Consumer Services unit, the management board of Scout24, has decided to change the internal management and the reporting structure and system of the Group starting 2018. Thus, starting with January 2018 the operating segments according to IFRS 8 consist of "ImmobilienScout24", "AutoScout24" and "Scout24 Consumer Services". The Scout24 Consumer Services segment will subsume all activities relating to services provided along the value chain of car buying or real estate buying or renting process and to non-real estate and non-automotive third-party display advertising, primarily reported in the ImmobilienScout24, AutoScout24 and Other segments.
If the new reporting structure had already been applied in 2017, the key indicators by segment would have been as follows:
In particular, the Management Board expects IS24 to achieve a revenue growth rate between 4% and 6%. As in previous years, underlying costs are expected to grow at a disproportionately lower rate than revenues. Thus, the ordinary operating EBITDA is expected to grow at a slightly higher rate than revenues, yielding an expected ordinary operating EBITDA margin of at least 67.0%.
For AS24 the Management Board targets to reach revenues of at least EUR 185.0 million in 2018. Driven by the operating leverage the ordinary operating EBITDA is expected to grow at a higher rate and ordinary operating EBITDA margin is expected at least at 50.0%.
Revenues at Scout24 Consumer Services are expected to reach approximately EUR 90.0 million in 2018. The Management Board expects Scout24 Consumer Services to increase profitability with the ordinary operating EBITDA margin is forecast to rise by at least one percentage point.
The webcast, as well as a replay, will be made available at:
Next events and reporting
The Annual General Meeting of Scout24 AG will take place on Thursday, 21 June 2018 in Munich.
New business address
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.
Document title: Scout24_2017 Results
28.03.2018 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
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