Auto Trader grows revenue and profit despite supply problems in motor trade

Auto Trader grew revenue by 9%, operating profit by 10% and maintained 70% operating profit margins.

The data, platform and advertising products are used by car retailers to track prices and broker sales.

Revenue in the core Auto Trader business increased by 9% to £473.0 million and total group level revenue grew 16% to £500.2 million (2022: £432.7 million), the difference being the inclusion of the Autorama business, acquired in June 2022, with revenue of £27.2 million. 

Auto Trader growth was ahead of expectations and has been achieved despite both the new and used car markets experiencing low transaction volumes, although the company claimed in a statement this morning that this headwind has been offset by “robust levels of retailer profitability”. 

Operating profit in the core Auto Trader business was £332.9 million, up 10% on last year, with a continued margin of 70% as a result of management of costs despite inflationary pressures. 

Group operating profit declined by 9% to £277.6 million (2022: £303.6 million), due to an operating loss of £11.2 million from Autorama, and £44.1 million of Group central costs relating to the acquisition of Autorama, which were £38.8 million of deferred consideration and amortisation of acquired intangibles of £5.3 million. Group operating profit margin was 55% (2022: 70%).

Group profit before tax decreased by 2% to £293.6 million (2022: £301.0 million) which included a £19.1 million profit on disposal of Webzone Limited in October 2022. Cash generated from operations was £327.4 million (2022: £328.1 million).

Nathan Coe, Chief Executive Officer of Auto Trader, said: “This year marks another strong financial and operational performance for Auto Trader. Given the challenging economic backdrop and historically low levels of vehicle supply, these results are a credit to our people and the close partnerships we’ve developed with our customers.

“The prospects for our marketplace are as strong as they have ever been, underpinned by the significant number of car buyers and retailers using Auto Trader. We have also made good progress on improving the new and used car buying experience by moving more of the journey online, on Auto Trader. 

“As a result, despite continued economic uncertainty and automotive industry changes we feel confident about the year ahead.”

Matt Davies will be appointed to the board as Non-Executive Director, and chair designate.

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