Proactive Investors - Run By Investors For Investors

Auto Trader shares motor as it ups full year revenue guidance after strong first half

The firm said revenue growth for the full year was “likely to exceed previous guidance”, with Average Revenue Per Retailer forecourt to date outperforming expectations
Car forecourt
ARPR per month rose to £1,826 from £1,674 previously

Shares in Auto Trader Group PLC (LON:AUTO) started strong in early trading Thursday after it increased its revenue guidance for the full year as record growth from its retailer products boosted first-half earnings.

The FTSE 250 digital car marketplace reported a pre-tax profit of £114.5mln for the period, up 9% on last year while revenues climbed 7% to £176.8mln.

READ: Auto Trader upgraded to ‘buy’ by UBS, says recent sell-off “overdone”

Average Revenue Per Retailer forecourt (ARPR) per month rose to £1,826 from £1,674 previously.

The firm also hiked its interim dividend to 2.1p per share from 1.9p in the first half of last year.

During the first half, Auto Trader said it had seen record growth from its retailer products, successfully monetising a dealer finance product in April and seeing increased penetration of its advanced and premium trade advertising packages.

The group also said cross-platform visits in the first half were nearly four times larger than its nearest competitor, with full-page advert views rising 1% to 247mln per month.

In terms of stock, physical cars on site were down 3% to 437,000 while retailer forecourts were relatively stable at an average of 13,153 compared to 13,213 a year ago.

In its outlook, the firm said the strong first half meant revenue growth for the full year was “likely to exceed previous guidance”, with ARPR growth to date having outperformed expectations despite a stock headwind.

Regarding Brexit, the group said it “did not foresee any issues” affecting its ability to provide services or change its cost base and was confident of delivering growth expectations for the rest of the year.

Steve Clayton, manager of Select funds at Hargreaves Lansdown, said that the “knock out” results showed Auto Trader was “far from being held back by the weak market for new cars” and had managed to capitalise on its consumer reach by building advertising revenues with manufacturers while also “generating strong real increases in income from its core used car dealer base”.

Shares were up 3.7% at 455.6p.

View full AUTO profile View Profile

Autotrader Timeline

Related Articles

December 03 2018
“I think customers are seeing that we do offer value and that really is the answer,” said chief executive John Nichols
December 18 2018
MetroRod has been in operation for 30 years but only became a franchise relatively recently
Scans and MRI
November 28 2018
The firm's subsidiary, Imaging Biometrics, recently appointed a South Korean distributor a few weeks after receiving the first commercial order for its StoneChecker technology

© Proactive Investors 2019

Proactive Investors Limited, trading as “Proactiveinvestors United Kingdom”, is Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Registered in England with Company Registration number 05639690. Group VAT registration number 872070825 FCA Registration number 559082. You can contact us here.

Market Indices, Commodities and Regulatory News Headlines copyright © Morningstar. Data delayed 15 minutes unless otherwise indicated. Terms of use