REA Group, the owner of realestate.com.au and realcommercial.com.au, has posted a 29 per cent rise in net profit for the 2012 financial year.
“Our excellent results for the 2012 financial year demonstrate the strength of our business model and our ability to respond to a changing market environment,” said Greg Ellis, REA Group CEO and managing director.
“Technology is transforming the way we do business and as a digital leader we have a responsibility to help our customers prepare their own businesses for the digital world.”
“We are committed to supporting our customers’ business success through product and technology innovations and other initiatives such as our Agent Innovation seminar series which we are rolling out across Australia.”
Net profit for the Group and its subsidiaries surged to $86.8 million for the year to June 30, 2012, up from $67.5 million in the previous financial year, while revenue jumped 16 per cent increase to $277.6 million.
“In Australia, we achieved 15 per cent growth across the residential, commercial and media businesses and surpassed one million downloads of our realestate.com.au mobile apps,” Mr Ellis continued.
The company said its Australian growth was achieved “despite the challenging local property market and a slight decrease in paying agents due to agency consolidation and contraction in Queensland and NSW”.
“Residential revenue increased by 12 per cent, commercial revenue grew by 17 per cent and media and developer revenue grew by 31 per cent due to increased take-up of value-added products across all segments,” the company continued.
“realestate.com.au’s ‘Highlight’ product, developed in response to the market’s need for a mid-range residential listing product, recorded excellent month-on-month growth following its launch in December 2011.”
The company added that realestate.com.au accounted for 61 per cent of total minutes Australian spent on residential property portals in June 2012 – well up on its nearest competitor with 17 per cent - and the site attracted an average monthly Unique Audience of 2.9 million during 2012 (approx. 1.8 times that of nearest competitor).
Mr Ellis, in a speech at an American Chamber of Commerce in Australia (AMCHAM) business briefing in June, said a website’s success shouldn’t be based on unique browser numbers, with time on site and interaction levels far better measurements.
“The internet allows you to have a live, dynamic conversation and understand about what you are doing with a customer’s or client’s products 24/7,” he said.
“So when we think about usage stats at REA, we don’t think about unique browsers anymore, we think about time on site and levels of interaction.”
The company said mobile continues to be a growth platform for the Group, with realestate.com.au’s iPhone, iPad and Android apps surpassing one million downloads in April 2012.
The company declared a 2012 final dividend of 20.5 cents per share fully franked, an increase of 28 per cent on the 2011 final dividend. Total dividend for the year is 33.0 cents per share fully franked, up 27 per cent on 2011. The Group's share price rose by 2.91 per cent to finish yesterday at $15.20.