Real estate portal generates $461 million in nine months

Australia’s largest real estate listings website has posted a 20 per cent increase in revenue over the nine months to 31 March.

In a trading update on Friday, the listed REA Group revealed some financial highlights from its core operations for the nine months ending 31 March 2016, including revenue growth of 20 per cent to $461 million and EBITDA growth from core operations of 25 per cent to $263 million.

For the three months ended 31 March, REA recorded a 20 per cent increase in revenue to $147 million.

“The results were driven by the continued success of our product strategy which saw Australian residential depth revenue increase by 22 per cent this quarter against the prior corresponding period,” the group said in a statement to the ASX.

“This is despite the impact of Easter moving from Q4 in 2015 to Q3 in 2016 which negatively impacted the volume of listings in the Q3, but resulted in higher listing volumes in April,” it said.

REA noted that the rate of operating expenses growth increased as planned due to the different timing of marketing spend and strategic initiatives. It expect this higher rate of growth to continue into Q4.

REA Group CEO Tracey Fellows said it has been another strong quarter for the company, highlighting that realestate.com.au continues to outperform “any other property site in the country with more than twice the visits on our main and mobile sites”.

“Additionally, the realestate.com.au app became the first Australian property app to reach 5 million downloads,” Ms Fellows said.

“We continued to deliver great consumer innovation," she said, "introducing a new tool allowing property owners to 'claim' their property. The feature enables consumers to keep up to date with key information about their local market and allows them to make better and more informed decisions about property, whether it’s investing, renting, renovating or buying a new home.”

REA also provided an update on its acquisition of Asia-based property portal iProperty and local website Flatmates.com.au.

“The iProperty transaction completed on schedule in February and our global footprint now spans four continents,” Ms Fellows said.

“We’ve proven the depth of our leadership talent and skills with the successful first steps of integrating IPP into the business.

“In addition, the acquisition of market leader Flatmates in April positions us well in the share accommodation segment, one of the fastest growing segments in the Australian property market,” she said.

Ms Fellows said the Flatmates acquisition will allow REA to connect with consumers earlier in the property lifecycle.

[Related: Real estate portal commands listings form 90% of agents]

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