The U.K.’s leading automotive vertical, Auto Trader, has released its half-year financial results, showing a significant increase in revenue and operating profit.
Revenue increased by 6% from £176.8 million ($227.6 million U.S.) to £186.7 million ($240.3 million U.S.). Operating profit was up 9% to £131.4 million from £120.6 million for the same period last year. Profit before tax increased by 12% to £127.7 million.
Average revenue per retailer (ARPR) grew by 7% to £1,951, up £125 from the first half of last year. Auto Trader said this was due to “growth from product and price offsetting a small, but expected, decline in paid retailer stock.”
The number of cars it has in stock was up 10% to 481,000 cars compared to 437,000 in the first six months of its previous trading year. Used car stock increased by 3% to 448,000 units.
Auto Trader recently announced that it wants to build its new car business. New car stock growth increased with an average of 33,000 new cars advertised across the period. In Sept., 1.6 million unique users viewed a new car on its website.
Auto Trader increased cross platform visits per month by 4% to 51.2 million and its share of minutes compared to competitors has grown to over 75%, compared to 72% for the same period last year.
However, full page advert views per month decreased by 6% to 233 million per month compared to 247 million for the same period last year. The number of retailer forecourts it has as customers increased by 1% to 13,316.
Auto Trader also saw product growth increase from new retail products and monetization of Vehicle Check and Text Chat.
“We continue to be the clear market leader in used cars and have extended this into new cars, with over 30,000 brand new cars on Auto Trader being viewed by 1.6 million people in September alone,” said Trevor Mather, CEO of Auto Trader Group.
“Despite ongoing market uncertainty, the Board is confident of meeting its growth expectations for the year,” Mather said.
Looking ahead, Auto Trader said it expected ARPR growth to continue and predicted modest growth in the number of retailer forecourts. Manufacturer and agency revenue, which represents 5% of the company’s total revenue, was weak and the company expects the rate of decline to accelerate due to challenges facing these customers.
The company’s board is confident that it will meet growth expectations for the year.