Market turnaround leads to profit for Domain

Domain has witnessed a “pleasing turnaround” in the property market and its financial performance, with profits rising 48.7 per cent.

The property listings platform released its 2024 half-year financial results, reporting an 11 per cent increase in revenue from $182.1 million in the first half of the 2023 financial year, to $202.2 million for the first half of this financial year.

EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation) rose 32.1 per cent to $68.4 million, while net profit increased 48.7 per cent to $25.8 million, year-on-year.

The positive financial results come after a tough 2022-2023 financial year, which Domain Chief Executive Officer Jason Pellegrino labelled as the “most challenging” the Australian property market had ever seen. 

In August last year, Domain reported that statutory revenue dropped 0.5 per cent in the 2022-2023 financial year to $345.8 million, while net profit decreased 28.2 per cent to $38.6 million, down from $53.8 million year-on-year.

But Mr Pellegrino said the situation today was looking much brighter.

“We have seen some improvement in the broader property market across the country,” he said.

“Sydney and Melbourne continue to lead and we’re seeing strong growth in Sydney and Melbourne.

“Listings in Sydney and Melbourne are up in the high 20 per cent (growth) year-on-year, off last year’s very poor performance.”

Mr Pellegrino said there was poor listing performance outside the two major capital cities, with Domain seeing a modest 2 per cent dip in new ‘for sale’ listings overall.

But he put that down to a seasonal pattern and said it was not a concern.

“We are still seeing negative listings growth outside of Sydney and Melbourne, so Queensland, Western Australia and some areas of regional NSW and Victoria,” Mr Pellegrino said.

“Mortgage pressure and cost of living pressures are contributing to lower listing volumes overall, but generally we’re in a better position and we’re starting to see the market return to normal. 

“Even those areas that are seeing declines, those declines are decreasing and we’ve got some line of sight of an increase and a movement back to a normal property cycle.”

Mr Pellegrino also highlighted that Domain’s audience had growth 10 per cent over the first half of the financial year.

“That’s two to three times the industry average,” he said.

“So we’re outperforming the industry and our competitors on that basis and we’re seeing really strong growth in the audience Domain reaches on a monthly basis.”

Residential revenue increased 16 per cent in the first half of the financial year, with a rapid increase in the take-up of Domain’s premium depth products such as Platinum Edge.

“On the agent side of our business, we’ve seen more agents take on our premium depth products at a faster rate than we ever have before,” Mr Pellegrino said.

He said that growth had extended beyond Domain’s listing products into the agent solutions and workflow products with Real Time Agent delivering revenue growth of more than 50 per cent, while Pricefinder also delivered modest revenue growth.

“The one area that we have seen some weakness in is AIM, which is our social media product,” Mr Pellegrino said.

“I think on a national basis, there is pressure on vendor paid advertising schedules, particularly outside of Sydney and Melbourne. 

“And what you’ve seen is a flight to quality, where some of the products outside of portal spend have been under real pressure.”

Mr Pellegrino said AIM was still a good product and Domain had plans to address its performance and highlight its value to agents over the next year.

He said over the coming 12 months Domain would continue to invest in bettering the workflow experience for agents.

“We want agents to have more profitable, more resilient, higher compliance and higher quality businesses overall,” Mr Pellegrino said.

“We want to support the growth of agents, we want to help them find listings, we want to help them win those listings and to operate really successful businesses.”

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.