Scout24's Half Year Results Hold Firm

August 13, 2020
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The Munich-based portal company Scout24 which owns and operates property portals in Germany, Switzerland and Austria has reported half-year financials for 2020 which reflect solid performance and a resilient residential property market. Some highlights from yesterday’s announcement include:

  • Revenue up 1% to €173 million for the half-year despite a second-quarter drop of 3.5%

  • Ordinary operating EBITDA margin 61%. Up from 59.4% for the first half of 2019

  • Traffic to up in the second quarter by 24% year-on-year

In March, Scout24 sold off its car portal AutoScout24 as well as tertiary services divisions FinanceScout24 and Finanzcheck to private equity firm Hellman and Friedman for some €2.84 billion and has since been focussing solely on real estate. Since the second quarter of 2020 the company’s operations have been divided into three segments: residential, commercial and media and other. Residential, which accounted for 71% of revenue in the half-year, has proved the most resilient to the economic crisis in the second quarter as surprisingly, revenues here were only down 1.6% year-on-year. Here Scout24’s report reveals a surprising scenario, given the economic lockdown in Q2, where it was actually able to increase revenue from agents:

“the revenue with professional customers included in this figure (i.e. real estate agents, property managers and finance customers) actually increased by 1.9%, while revenue with consumers declined by 8.7% in the second quarter”

Although comparisons across property markets are problematic, the fact that a dominant market leader such as Sout24 was able to not only increase revenue from agents during a pandemic but also increase the number of paying agents year-on-year for Q2 of 2020 (from 16,209 in Q2 2019 to 17,020 at the end of Q2 2020) is remarkable and something that bosses at Rightmove will no doubt have read with envy.

As for the business real estate segment, it largely held firm and reported half-year revenue growth of 1.4% largely thanks to customers who were tied into long-term contracts. As we’ve seen with other portal companies’ recent financial results, Scout24’s revenue from media was hardest hit by the pandemic with revenue dropping 12% over the first two quarters.

Elsewhere, the company was able to make something of an efficiency drive and lower headcount as well as complete the purchase of financial advice portal Immoverkauf24 in July. Scout24’s share price has been climbing steadily since its March nadir and currently sits at €78 per share, well above its pre-pandemic high of €64.

Scout24 Share Price

Source: Google Finance

August 13, 2020
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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