REA Group (ASX:REA), operator of the property website Realestate.com.au, has reported a 35% increase in 1H profit to $31.2 million on strong revenue growth.
The company earned revenue of $114.3 million, up 25% year-on-year. Media revenue grew 27% to $24.6 million. Ebitda increased 28% to $47.9 million.
Traffic to the company's Australian websites increased to 7.1 million in December, from 5.4 million a year ago.
But operating expenses grew 22% to $66.4 million, as the company kicked off its Fresh Start marketing campaign, and the number of paying real estate agents increased by just 76 to 9,612 in what the company said was a sign its penetration in the residential segment was nearing saturation.
But the company said its Italian website, casa.it, was continuing to grow.
This site increased its agent base by nearly 2,400 and grew traffic to 2.32 million views in December to become the nation's market leader.
On the strength of its 1H results, REA has declared its first-ever interim dividend of 10 cents per share.
REA shares fell 0.4% on Tuesday to $12.530.