Retreating to its core business in Australia seems to have paid off for REA Group, which has reported strong results in its annual report to shareholders.
According to the report, revenue from continuing operations is up 26 percent to AUD$167.8 million, EBITDA is up 34 percent to $62.3 million, and there has been a 100 percent increase in cash from operations to $31.8 million.
The report quotes Nielsen figures that put realestate.com.au’s traffic at 4.7 million in June 2009, up from 4.1 million in June 2008. The gap between realestate.com.au and Australia’s number two player, domain.com.au, widened by 2.4 million unique visitors. The report says approximately 95 percent of Australian real estate agents subscribe to REA Group websites (realestate.com.au, realcommercial.com.au, and realholidays.com.au).
The following graphs give an overview of REA Group’s Australian website growth over the past five years:
The report says REA Group’s Italian portal, casa.it, outranks realestate.com.au in its total number of agent subscribers (8,053 paying agents and 2,600 on trial subscriptions) and its number of active listings. REA Group says 2009 was a record year for casa.it, with 25 percent of Italian agents now signed up to the website, 1.4 million unique browsers in June 2009, and 530,000 active listings.
REA Group’s CEO and managing director, Greg Ellis, outlined his approach over the last 12 months:
“Since joining the company in September 2008 I have undertaken a strategic review of the business and made extensive structural changes to help us realise our goal of profitable growth in markets where our position is strong and the market size and market dynamics are attractive.
This has resulted in a greater focus on organic growth in our core Australian market and the highly attractive Italian market. It has also meant taking decisive action to divest under performing businesses in Australia and overseas.”