Auto Trader reports highest-ever sales as digital efforts pay off
Car marketplace Auto Trader has reported its highest-ever six months of sales and profits, as demand for cars from its platform surged to record levels and the company’s focus on its digital offering in the pandemic paid off.
Revenue jumped 82 per cent to £215.4m , up from £118.2m a year earlier. This was up 15 per cent on the same period two years ago, as consumer engagement and retailer numbers hit record levels.
The firm also enjoyed a 121 per cent surge in profit to £151.7m, up from £68.5m a year earlier. On a two-year basis, profit was up 15 per cent.
The UK’s largest car selling platform declared an interim dividend of 2.7p, after no dividend was declared in the same period last year.
Alongside the dividend, £148.4m was returned to shareholders in first half, through £100.4m of share buybacks and dividends paid of £48m.
Looking ahead, Auto Trader expects profit margins for the full year to be in line with 2020 levels, and CEO Nathan Coe said the firm intends to partner with more retailers to expand online for long term growth.
“Early in the pandemic we acted decisively to protect our people, customers, and business. As a result of these actions, we have emerged as a stronger business which can be seen in our results for the first half of this financial year,” Coe said.
“The number of people using Auto Trader to buy their next car is at record levels, more retailers are choosing to partner with us, and our competitive position has strengthened.”