realestate.com.au's revenue is up but profits are down on weaker business in Asia

Photo: Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images

REA Group, the owner of realestate.com.au, reported a 19% fall in full year profit to $206.06 million, mainly due to a write-down in the value of the company’s Asia business.

Revenue was up 16% to $671.2 million, with sales from iProperty in Asia included for a full 12 months, and profit from core operations up 12% to $228.29 million.

The majority-owned News Corp online property classified business reported an impairment charge of $182.8 million on the goodwill for the Asia business.

A short time ago, REA shares were down 3.8% to $65.80.

In Malaysia, stricter lending rules have resulted in a fall in loan applications and approvals and there has also been a 33% drop in the number of properties sold.

In Hong Kong, the government has introduced a number of cooling measures to try to soften a highly competitive market, including the increasing stamp duty on residential property.

The Asian business, including iProperty and Chinese listing site, myfun.com, contributed $37.7 million in revenue.

Revenue in Australia grew by 14% to $633.5 million and agent numbers increased by 5%.

CEO Tracey Fellows says the result in Australia was achieved in a market of lower residential listing volumes and a significant decline in new dwelling commencements.

“In Australia, we have extended our position as the clear market leader, with our audience growth reaching record highs against our nearest competitor,” she says.

“We continue to diversify our business and deepen consumer engagement across the property journey.

“The most significant and exciting has been our move into financial services, through our partnership with NAB and our acquisition of the broking business, Smartline.

“Globally, we remain focussed on Asia and our investment in the US with Move, as an important part of our long-term growth strategy.”

REA declared a fully franked final dividend of 51 cents a share, bringing the total payout for the year to 91 cents a share, a 12% increase.

Average monthly visits to realestate.com.au grew 13% to 49.9 million:

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