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Domain’s marketplace strategy reaping results with half-year revenue up 27.9 per cent

Domain’s ‘Marketplace strategy’ is reaping rewards, with the group posting revenue of $175.3 million for the first half of the 2021/22 financial year.

The revenue marks a 27.9 per cent increase on the same period last year and includes a net profit after tax of $19.5 million and an increase in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 14.2 per cent.

Speaking with Elite Agent about the strong half-year results, Domain Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Jason Pellegrino said it was recognition of the group’s successful transformation from a traditional classifieds business property portal to a marketplace solutions provider.

“It’s wonderful recognition of the pace and effect of that transformation,” he said.

“We are excited to deliver on what we said we would deliver which is solutions that are aimed at inspiring confidence for all of life’s property decisions.”

The current half-year results include the expense of voluntarily repaying JobKeeper, along with the Zipline share scheme which was offered to staff early in the pandemic as part of the company’s Covid response.

When those two elements are taken out of the equation, Domain’s EBITDA increased 53 per cent compared to the same period last year.

“The outcome of our strategic focus and the increasing value we bring to our customers and consumers is reflected in the outstanding results we are announcing today,” Mr Pellegrino stated.

“We have achieved growth across every revenue line, and 53 per cent EBITDA growth on an ongoing basis, and delivered on our commitment to deliver expanding EBITDA margins on an ongoing basis.

“The entire Domain team is delivering on the promise of our Marketplace strategy.”

Breaking those results down, core digital revenue increased 25.5 per cent, led by a strong performance in the residential arena.

Residential revenue increased 29 per cent to $120.3 million, despite being weighed down by the initial impact of lockdowns in Canberra where Domain owns property portal Allhomes.

In the media, developers and commercial sphere, Domain’s revenue increased 15 per cent, with consistent growth across all three verticals.

Agent solutions also enjoyed strong growth, with revenue increasing 19 per cent, largely due to the real estate industry take-up of products such as Pricefinder and Real Time Agent.

“Pricefinder delivered 12 per cent year-on-year agent subscriber growth and is a great example of our ‘better together’ approach to our marketplace model,” Mr Pellegrino said.

“Our new payment platform, MarketNow, continued to rapidly onboard new customers. Higher utilisation rates and strong market activity saw a tripling in the number of properties supported compared with the previous six-month period.

“Leadscope is another ‘better together’ example and is the result of a partnership between our agent and property data teams.

“We saw a 43 per cent increase in participation in the Leadscope trial and continued high prediction accuracy.

“Impressively, during one four-week period in December, almost a quarter of the listings of trial participants had been predicted by Leadscope.”    

In the consumer solutions side of the business, Domain enjoyed a revenue increase of 60 per cent, benefiting from the strong performance of Domain Home Loans.

Meanwhile, print revenues also increased, rising 75 per cent year-on-year as a result of the resumption of a normal printing schedule together with strong property market conditions.

“Domain’s magazines are focused on high-value premium markets where print remains sustainable due to the value it provides agents and vendors,” Mr Pellegrino explained.

Describing the financial results as “extraordinary”, Mr Pellegrino said they reflected consumers and clients’ strong response and takeup of Domain’s Marketplace strategy.

And looking ahead he expects the momentum to continue.

“The results of Domain’s transformation to date underpin our confidence to continue to invest in our Marketplace strategy while retaining our disciplined investment approach and commitment to ongoing margin expansion.”

As for his predictions for the property market, Mr Pellegrino said he expected the strong demand for property to continue into next financial year, but the gap between supply and demand would steadily close.


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Cassandra Charlesworth

Cassandra Charlesworth is a features writer for Elite Agent Magazine with over 15 years’ journalism experience in metropolitan and regional newsrooms. She has a specialist interest in real estate, tech disruption and a good old-fashioned “yarn”.