Sales drive AutoTrader to hefty profit amid pandemic rebound
Revenues at AutoTrader spiked 65 per cent this year to £432.7m, powered by a 72 per cent uplift in sales to £388.3m, with rebounding vehicle demand powering the market’s recovery from the pandemic.
Operating profit went up 88 per cent in its full-year results to £303.6m, while the operating profit margin increased to 70 percent, consistent with 2020 levels.
Earnings per share were up 93 per cent to 25.61p, while cash generated from operations soared 115 per cent to £328.1m.
Overall, £237.1m was returned to shareholders through £163.5 million of share buybacks and £73.6m dividends, with AutoTrader’s proposed final dividend of 5.5 pence per share giving 8.2p per share for the total year.
Last year, shareholders did not receive a payout.
“We are well placed to continue growing our core business while establishing the products that retailers will need to shift more of the car buying journey online, on Auto Trader,” said chief executive Nathan Coe.
“Despite the current high levels of economic uncertainty and industry change, we enter the year with good reason for both confidence and optimism.”
Commenting on the results, Edison Group’s director of research Neil Shah said that future outlook is less bright due to supply chain and inflationary pressures.
“The lack of new cars will impact the amount of used cars that are available for retail,” he said. “Auto Trader will need to demonstrate continued progression of strategic aims as consumer demand may begin to fall.”