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Healthier market leads REA Group to excellent half-year financial results

REA Group Chief Executive Officer Owen Wilson has predicted “healthy market conditions” for the remainder of 2024 on the back of securing outstanding half-year financial results.

The group has reported an 18 per cent increase in revenue, to $726 million, for the half-year ended 31 December 2023.

The Australian arm of the business saw revenue rise 17 per cent year-on-year, to $682 million, while revenue from India jumped 21 per cent to $44 million.

REA Group also achieved an increase in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) of 22 per cent to $439 million, along with a 22 per cent rise in net profit to $250 million.

The statement uploaded to the ASX also said reported net profit declined 37 per cent to $127 million, which reflected the impairment of PropertyGuru and other one-ff impact in both periods.

“REA has delivered an outstanding result, driven by strong yield growth and the benefit of a more normalised listings environment,” Mr Wilson said.

“This resulted in a strong uptake of our premium products as customers sought to leverage our leading audience to maximise their campaigns in the strengthening market.”

Mr Wilson said the Indian arm of the business continued to perform strongly, with revenue from property and advertising increasing 32 per cent. benefitted from price rises, increased depth penetration and customer growth. 

REA India’s app-first strategy has driven app traffic growth of 43 per cent, with share of app downloads at 46 per cent compared to 42 per cent in the prior period.

“REA India’s momentum also continued with price and customer growth and new premium depth products delivering strong revenue growth,” Mr Wilson said.

In Australia, maintained its leadership position, with 10.6 million people visiting the site each month, on average, with 52 per cent exclusively using the site.

There was a 17 per cent increase in active members, with 2.1 million average monthly buyer enquiries, which was up 15 per cent year-on-year.

“The strength and quality of our audience delivered strong growth in both buyer enquiry and seller leads,” Mr Wilson said.

“Buy listings views also increased during the half, culminating in a record number of views in October.

“This reflects both investment in our exceptional consumer experience and strengthening demand in the market

“Pleasingly, our focus on the growth of our valuable active membership base continued to yield strong results as we added new features, driving deeper engagement and delivering rich new insights for our customers.”

The group’s operating expenses increased 11 per cent to $287 million.

Mr Wilson said Australia’s property market remained healthy, with national listings growth driven by Sydney and Melbourne.

There continued to be strong demand for properties, supported by near record employment and high levels of immigration and greater confidence that interest rates had stabilised.

He said supply was also improving as sellers became more confident in the level of demand, which has shortened the time taken to sell. 

In January, the national residential new ‘buy’ listings were up 12 per cent year-on-year, with Sydney and Melbourne listings rising 28 per cent.

If the trend continues for the rest of the financial year, listings growth of between 3 and 5 per cent is expected.

“We are very pleased with our first half result,” Mr Wilson said.

“The confidence that interest rates are at, or very near the peak, should see the healthy market conditions we are enjoying today continue throughout 2024.

“We will continue to invest in further personalisation and new experiences for our audience, new products that will deliver further value for our customers and their increasing demands of consumers around privacy and data security.”

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.