Global media house Schibsted has released its 2016 annual report revealing that French online marketplace Leboncoin, which specialises in jobs, real estate and cars listings, continues to be the company's strongest growth engine in its online classifieds sector.
The Norwegian media company, which owns numerous online classifieds sites along with two media publishing houses in Sweden and Norway, said the French marketplace continued to flourish.
"Our strongest growth engine Leboncoin.fr has continued to grow rapidly. Leboncoin.fr has, during 2016, built a significant revenue base in real estate, and initiated monetization of the attractive jobs vertical. The results so far are promising," said a statement in the report.
"Leboncoin.fr holds significant long-term potential," the report continued. "Based on the traffic leadership and the strength of the Leboncoin brand, there is room for increased market shares in verticals such as real estate, cars and jobs. An improved product offering in the jobs vertical was launched in Q4 2016."
Both emerging and established markets were also high growth areas for Schibsted's online classifieds business in 2016 and it attracted more users, traffic and revenue. The 2016 report states that along with Leboncoin; Norway's classifieds site Finn and Sweden's Blocket were also among the main revenue drivers to its classifieds business.
Continued growth of online classifieds
Schibsted sees continued revenue growth potential and inherent operational leverage for its portfolio of developed online classifieds sites, on the back of the strong brand positions and traffic leadership in a range of markets and verticals. On a medium- to long-term horizon, the target for annual revenue growth remains at 15–20 percent, said the report.
Slowdown of Spanish operations
While classifieds sites in France, Norway and Sweden continued to grow, Schibsted said its Spanish operations (comprised of Coches.net.Fotocasa.es, Vibbo.es, Milanuncios.com, InfoJobs.net, Habitaclia.com) showed relatively slow revenue growth in Q4 2016. Revenue growth is expected to accelerate again in 2017 as a result of product enhancements and better market conditions.