Financials Roundup: CoStar, Hemnet, FangDD, Yandex.Classifieds, Alma Media and Rent.com.au

April 28, 2022
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Financials season has rolled around again for publicly traded real estate marketplace companies. We've got a summary of all you need to know from the results of five portal companies from around the world that have revealed their numbers over the last week...

 

CoStar stock rebounds on positive Q1

The U.S. commercial real estate data giant and increasingly relevant Zillow rival released figures for its activities for the three months ended 31st of March.

The company saw its "best sales quarter ever" as revenue climbed to $516 million and net profit rose to $89 million, up 13% and 20% respectively on 2021's numbers.

The company is on a well-documented tilt at Zillow's residential crown and some of the investment that CoStar has plunged into its residential division is starting to bear fruit with CEO Andy Florance saying:

“We are making strong progress on our residential initiatives, with unique visitors to our residential sites growing approximately 125% from 6 million in the first quarter of 2021 to 14 million in the most recent quarter. Our fast growing residential operations increased revenue in the first quarter by 63% year-over-year to $18 million. Finally, we are very excited about joining forces with our French companies, BureauxLocaux and Business Immo, and their teams, which we believe will be key catalysts in building a successful Pan-European business."

The Q1 numbers prompted the Washington based company to raise its revenue guidance for 2022 from $2.15 billion to $2.17 billion and its EBITDA guidance from $585 million to $615 million. CoStar's share price rebounded in trading on Wednesday by around 7% following the news.

 

Hemnet sees a huge increase in revenue per listing over Q1

The leading Swedish real estate vertical Hemnet has reported a 26% increase in net sales and a nearly 50% increase in adjusted EBITDA for its Q1 activities.

The increase has been driven by the success of the company's premium products for property sellers to maximise the exposure of their listing along with a higher number of overall listings during the quarter with asking prices at record highs. The average revenue per listing was up 41% on the corresponding period of 2021 at SEK 2,681.

Q1 also saw product developments for Hemnet according to CEO Cecilia Beck-Friis:

In terms of our product development, a new section was launched where local real estate agents are listed, based on the last reported final price. This list is making it easier for our visitors to connect with a real estate agent, while also creating another relevant place for agents to build their brand on Hemnet. We will continue to expand this area throughout the year.

During the quarter we also worked to improve and clarify our offering for property developers, where we will soon be launching a number of new features. Our product focus on business customers will remain in 2022 and we will continue to expand our range of services that create new business opportunities for our customers.

 

Devastating losses for FangDD as Chinese portal companies continue to suffer

The Chinese real estate portal company FangDD has released its earnings for 2021 with the numbers making sobering reading for investors. Revenues at the company dropped 61% to $144 million while net loss widened considerably to $184 million.

The Chinese real estate market continues to suffer the effects of a sluggish primary market precipitated by the Evergrande crisis last Autumn. FangDD's fellow online real estate market Leju also suffered badly in its latest missive to the market earlier this month with net losses also over $150 million.

FangDD's latest set of figures are unlikely to help the company remain on the Nasdaq which in January issued the company a notice regarding its minimum bid requirement. FangDD's share price closed below $1 for the last 30 consecutive business days from November 19, 2021 to January 3, 2022.

The Company has been granted a grace period of 180 calendar days, expiring on July 5, 2022, in which to regain compliance and boost its share price to over $1. At the time of writing, shares of FangDD were trading at $0.25 per share

 

Revenue up 22% and adjusted EBITDA down 28% at Yandex.Classifieds

Revenues at the classifieds division of the Russian internet giant Yandex were up significantly in Q1 this year while profits dropped.

Yandex is Russia's biggest internet company and also runs an online classifieds division known as Yandex.Classifieds which includes real estate portal Yandex Realty and Yandex Rent as well as autos portal Auto.ru.

The increase in revenue was driven largely by the 1.4x year-on-year growth of auto listings in the country and the improvement of the division's monetization strategies and product offering.

Yandex's statement to the market contained scant mention of the "geopolitical developments" in the region but did mention that there was a "high degree of uncertainty" and that previous company guidance for 2022 should no longer be relied upon and that despite western sanctions, "the effect from the current geopolitical crisis on goodwill and non-current assets shows no material impact."

 

Uncertainty in the Finnish housing market leads to slow growth of Alma Media's real estate portals

Alma Media, the operator of leading Finnish real estate verticals Etuovi and Vuokraovi, released its interim report for the company's Q1 activities.

Alma's housing segment was the poorest performing vertical among the company's Consumer segment which includes 37 different B2B brands across Finland and the Baltic Nations.

While revenue for the Housing business was up 11% at €4.2 million, revenue for the company's autos classifieds businesses rose 116% to €6.4 million, a situation reflected across comparison services and media services where revenue increases outpaced Housing.

 

Record revenue for Rent.com.au as RentPay product grows

The Australian rental marketplace operator Rent.com.au released the results of its Q3 operations with the company posting record quarterly revenues of $853k over the period.

Aside from its core portal offering, Rent.com.au has also been developing its flagship RentPay product over the last few years and earlier this year announced a A$2.5 million round to help fund a marketing effort for the new FinTech product. RentPay lets tenants pay their rent via an app while enabling them to build a reliability scoring and a 'buffer' amount to protect landlords.

The company is currently upgrading the product by adding different payment options and upgrading the onboarding process. The Western Australian company also spent some $407k on marketing and operational expenses for RentPay and has been on the hunt for strategic partners for the venture according to company CEO Greg Bader:

“At a strategic level, we are also focussed on collaborations that not only provide opportunity to partners in key verticals, but importantly they will help us fulfill our mission of ‘putting rent money to work’ for renters through recognition and reward of good renters and thereby building more value into RentPay. We have been hard at work in this area and hope to reach an agreement with partners over the coming quarter"

April 28, 2022
Edmund got to know the world of portals and marketplaces working at Mitula Group (which became Lifull Connect after the buyout in 2018). He worked directly with hundreds of portals across the world in his role in the content department for three and a half years before transferring to the SEO department to understand the inner workings of listings sites. He joined Online Marketplaces as Head of Content in March 2020.

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