Scout24 Reports Increase in Revenue and EBITDA Despite Listings and Margins Drop as New Consumer Products Reap Rewards

November 11, 2021
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Scout24 Group, the owner of leading German and Austrian real estate portal ImmobilienScout, has today announced the results of its Q3 activities, highlights of which include:

  • Revenue up 8.8% year-on-year
  • Seller lead generation business (immoverkauf24) saw revenue grow 41% year-on-year
  • Consumer services (Plus-product) subscribers grew to 236,612, an 82.8% rise year-on-year
  • Ordinary Operating EBITDA up 4.4% year-on-year (€54.5 million)

Despite listings numbers drying up somewhat and the continued struggles of the lucrative commercial real estate business, Scout24 managed to drive up revenues over the three months from June to September. This growth was largely attributable to the consolidation of immoverkauf24, the company's seller mandate lead generation platform acquired in 2020 for €30 million.

The commission-based revenue generated from immoverkauf24 leads was up 41%, thanks in no small part to a company-wide 19% increase in marketing for the quarter (€10 million). Elsewhere, Scout24's bet on consumer subscription products looks to be on the right track as subscriber numbers were up over 80% year-on-year with this revenue segment (€22.1 million) representing almost 20% of total group revenue for the quarter.

Another revenue stream that the company is looking to leverage is that of property management tools for landlords in the rental-dominated German real estate market. In May the company acquired property management platform Vermietet.de to add to the native tools the firm had already built to service this segment. Integration of Vermietet is coming along according to the company's report with users now able to log in with their Scout24 account and transfer data seamlessly.

As for Scout24's bottom line, the company was operating at a slightly reduced EBITDA margin of 55.9% (down from 58.2% in Q3 2020). The earnings report chalked this up to the consolidation of Vermietet and immoverkauf24 as well as increased marketing costs and COVID-19 related savings in the comparable quarter.

Given that listings volumes were down 16% quarter-on-quarter and 11% year-on-year for the preceding nine months, Scout24's EBITDA figure of €52.1 million for the quarter (+18.2%) and EPS of €0.29 (+27%) represent some form of vindication for the company's strategy of targeting landlords and consumers.

Scout24 mangement, and the German market as a whole, remain eager to see what the negotiations to form a new government will bring to the sector with the discussion around counteracting tight housing supply among the key topics for politicians.

November 11, 2021
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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