DGAP-News: Scout24 AG / Key word(s): Quarter Results/Quarterly / Interim Statement
Scout24 AG reports a successful first quarter 2018 with strong top- and bottom-line growth
Berlin / Munich, 08 May 2018 - Scout24 AG ("Scout24" or "the Group"), the leading operator of digital networked marketplaces specialising in the real estate and automotive sectors in Germany and other selected European countries, successfully concluded the first quarter of 2018 with strong growth in revenues and profitability.
According to the unaudited consolidated financial statements published today, Group revenues for the first quarter 2018 increased by 10.3% from EUR 111.9 million to EUR 123.4 million. Group ordinary operating EBITDA was up 12.7% from EUR 56.5 million to EUR 63.7 million, increasing the respective margin from 50.5% to 51.6%. Cash contribution (excluding capital expenditure incurred due to the first-time application of IFRS 16 in Q1 2018) increased by 6.3% to EUR 55.7 million (Q1 2017: EUR 52.4 million), highlighting the Group's strong cash generation capabilities.
"The results of the first quarter 2018 show we are well on track to achieve the targets, we have communicated to the market on our Capital Markets Day last November and reiterated with our Annual Report 2017. We not only recorded a strong top- and bottom-line growth, but as well further improved our financial position with the first issue of a Schuldschein in March 2018," said Christian Gisy, Chief Financial Officer of Scout24 AG.
1 Ordinary operating EBITDA represents EBITDA adjusted for non-operating and special effects; These include primarily expenses for reorganisation, expenses in connection with the capital structure of the Company and company acquisitions (realised and unrealised) as well as effects from share-based compensation programs recognized in income. The ordinary operating EBITDA margin of a segment is defined as ordinary operating EBITDA as a percentage of external segment revenues.
The quarterly statement including financial statements is available at www.scout24.com/financial-reports.
According to the unaudited consolidated financial statements, Group revenues for the first three months ended 31 March 2018 increased by 10.3% to EUR 123.4 million (Q1 2017: EUR 111.9 million).
Cash contribution (excluding capital expenditure incurred due to the first-time application of IFRS 16 in Q1 2018) increased by 6.3% to EUR 55.7 million (Q1 2017: EUR 52.4 million), highlighting the Group's strong cash generation capabilities. Cash Conversion, relative to ordinary operating EBITDA and excluding capital expenditure incurred due to the first-time application of IFRS 16 in Q1 2018, for the first quarter of 2018 was slightly down to 88% compared to the first quarter in 2017 (93%), due to extraordinary capital expenditure related to the office relocation in March 2018 of EUR 2.7 million as well as the positive impact on ordinary operating EBITDA due to application of IFRS 16 (Q1 2018 adjusted: 94%). Cash and cash equivalents amounted to EUR 58.0 million as of 31 March 2018 (31 March 2017: EUR 73.9 million). This includes the cash inflow of EUR 215,0 million from the first Schuldschein loan issue of Scout24 AG as well as the cash outflow of EUR 250,0 million from an early repayment towards the existing bank loan at the end of March 2018. Total net financial debt therefore amounted to EUR 564.9 million, leading to a leverage (ratio of net debt to ordinary operating EBITDA of the last twelve months) of 2.2:1, respectively of 2.0:1 excluding impact from IFRS 16 adoption (31 December 2017: 2.2:1).
Overall, with Q1 2018 revenue growth rate of 10.3% and ordinary operating EBITDA-margin standing at 51.6%, the Group is well on track to achieve the targets as communicated within the Annual Report 2017, respectively adapted for the new accounting regulations IFRS 9, IFRS 15 and IFRS16 respectively (revenue growth between 9.0% and 11.0 %, ordinary operating EBITDA-margin between 56.0% and 57.5%).
Due to its superior content, IS24 maintained its strong competitive lead in listings share as well as consumer traffic and engagement in the first quarter of 2018.
The segment is well on track to achieve the targets as communicated in the Annual Report 2017 and as adjusted to reflect the adoption of new IFRS standards, with Q1 2018 revenue growth rate being at the upper end of the communicated range (revenue growth between 4.0% to 6.0%, ordinary operating EBITDA-margin of at least 68.0%).
AS24 sustained its content leadership positions in Belgium, Netherlands, Italy and Austria with regards to general classifieds and automotive classified competitors and continued to work on closing the gap towards its competitor in Germany.
The segment is well on track to achieve the management expectations as communicated in the Annual Report 2017 and as adjusted to reflect the adoption of new IFRS standards (revenue of at least EUR 180.5 million, around 52.0% ordinary operating EBITDA-margin).
Scout24 Consumer Services (CS)
The segment recorded external revenues of EUR 20.7 million in the first quarter of 2018, an increase of 12.6% compared to the first quarter of 2017 (Q1 2017: EUR 18.4 million). The increase was mainly driven by Services revenues and Revenues with Finance partners, both showing solid growth in the first quarter of 2018. Third party display revenues showed a solid development compared to the first quarter of the previous year. The profitability of the CS segment in terms of ordinary operating EBITDA-margin came in at 32.3%, a slight year-on-year decrease driven by timing of investments in marketing (Q1 2017: 33.8%, adjusted for effects from IFRS 16: 34.4%).
Thus, the CS segment is well on track to achieve the targets communicated within the Annual Report 2017 and as adjusted to reflect the adoption of new IFRS standards (revenues to come in at around EUR 87.0 million, ordinary operating EBITDA-margin to increase by at least one percentage point).
Scout24 is applying the following new IFRS standards as of 1 January 2018: IFRS 9, IFRS 15 and IFRS 16, whereas for IFRS 15 the retrospective method is applied, therefore consequently the comparable period is presented in accordance with IFRS 15 as well. Details of the adjustments are lined out in the quarterly statement.
By applying the new accounting regulations IFRS 9, IFRS 15 and IFRS 16 respectively, the Group is adapting the outlook given for financial year 2018 to reflect the changes in reporting starting Q1 2018.
On a Group level, the Management Board expects a revenue growth rate between 9.0% and 11.0%, unchanged to the expectations as given in the Annual Report 2017. Given the application of the retrospective method for IFRS 15, the 2017 financials are reflecting the lower starting base, the application of IFRS 15 does not have an impact on the underlying operational growth trajectory.
Based on the reduced revenues and therefore increasing ordinary operating EBITDA-margin due to the application of IFRS 15, as well as the positive effect on ordinary operating EBITDA and ordinary operating EBITDA-margin due to the application of IFRS 16, the ordinary operating EBITDA-margin is now expected between 56.0% and 57.5% (compared to 54.0% to 55.5% prior to the adjustment).
The outlook for non-operating costs is unchanged and expected to amount to between EUR 8.0 and EUR 11.0 million.
Capital expenditure excluding capital expenditures due to the first-time application of IFRS 16 is still expected at around EUR 34.0 million. The application of IFRS 16 results in a balance sheet extension and thus additional capital expenditure of EUR 41.0 million.
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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 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. Information on quarterly financials have not been subject to audit and are thus preliminary.
08.05.2018 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
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