Carsales.com profits have taken a hit from weak vehicle financing revenue

Todd Kelly drives the Carsales Racing Nissan Altima for the Sydney 500. Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images

Profit at carsales.com fell 8% to $47.20 million for the the half year to December, dragged down by shrinking revenue from vehicle financing.

The automotive classifieds business, the largest in Australia, reported a 7% rise in revenue to $178.6 million.

Excluding the “finance and related services” segment of the business, which fell because of issues at a major lender, operating revenue was up 14% and EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) of $83.2 million 9% higher.

Revenue from finance and related services, essentially the commissions on car financing, fell 22% to $26.1 million for the six months. Excluding this, net profit would have risen 9%.

CEO Greg Roebuck says the core business is robust.

“The carsales business has again delivered a strong performance driven by solid domestic and promising international growth,” he says.

“We are expanding the business globally, implementing our world class technology and know-how to provide market leading solutions across our traditional classifieds and complementary market businesses.”

Detail on the half year results:

Source: carsales.com

The company last month announced a $6.7 million acquisition, making it the number one online automotive classifieds network in Latin America.

carsales.com says the second half of the year started well with good sales in January. Profits are expected to remain solid in the domestic core business.

“Our finance and related services business has made good progress in addressing its capacity constraint issues,” the company says.

The company declared a fully franked interim dividend of 18.7 cents a share, up 5%.

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