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Edited Transcript of 2371.T earnings conference call or presentation 6-Nov-19 10:59am GMT

Q2 2020 Kakaku.com Inc Earnings Presentation

Tokyo Dec 6, 2019 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Kakaku.com Inc earnings conference call or presentation Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at 10:59:00am GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

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Corporate Participants

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* Shonosuke Hata

Kakaku.com, Inc. - President, Representative Director & Executive Officer

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Presentation

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Shonosuke Hata, Kakaku.com, Inc. - President, Representative Director & Executive Officer [1]

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Good afternoon. I'm Shonosuke Hata. Thank you very much for attending today's briefing despite your busy schedules. Today, I will provide a summary of Kakaku.com, Inc.'s operating results for the second quarter and the first half of the fiscal year ending March 2020.

Please take a look at Slide 3 or Page 3 in the materials provided. I will start with our consolidated results for the second quarter. We posted revenue of JPY 15,305 million, operating profit of JPY 7,121 million, profit before income taxes of JPY 7,006 million and profit attributable to owners of the parent company of JPY 4,770 million. These represent year-on-year increases of 16.6%, 16.3%, 15.3% and 15.7%, respectively.

Page 4 shows a graph of first half results. Revenue totaled JPY 29,529 million, a 15.1% year-on-year increase. Operating profit increased 16.1% year-on-year to JPY 13,569 million. Profit before income taxes increased 14.9% year-on-year to JPY 13,343 million, while profit attributable to owners of the parent company increased 18.8% year-on-year to JPY 9,095 million.

In terms of achievement ratios compared to our disclosed forecast for the full fiscal year, the revenue achievement ratio was 47.6%, while the achievement ratios for operating profit, profit before income taxes and profit attributable to owners of the parent company were each above 50%. So steady progress has been made during the first half of the fiscal year.

Turning now to Page 6. I will discuss the breakdown of quarterly consolidated revenue. This page shows the revenue and sales ratios of kakaku.com, tabelog and New Media and Solutions and Finance. In the second quarter, New Media and Solutions and Finance accounted for 17.7% of overall revenue, a small increase from 16.3% in the first quarter.

Page 7 shows the breakdown of key quarterly operating expenses. From top to bottom, these expenses are advertising costs, commissions, personnel costs, outsourcing costs and depreciation. The breakdown is roughly the same as that for the first quarter.

Page 9 shows a more detailed breakdown of operating results by segment. kakaku.com and tabelog are each divided into their 3 respective business models, while the New Media and Solutions and Finance segment is split into New Media and Solutions and Finance. First, kakaku.com posted a 17.1% year-on-year increase in revenue. Revenue from the shopping business increased 7.0%, while service business revenue rose 22.9% and advertising revenue grew by 28.2% year-on-year.

For tabelog, overall revenue increased to 9.1% year-on-year. Revenue from the restaurant promotion business grew 14.8% year-on-year, while revenue from the premium memberships business declined 19.3% and advertising business revenue fell 0.4%. Meanwhile, New Media and Solutions revenue grew 37.9% year-on-year, while revenue for Finance, which is an insurance agency business, increased 36% year-on-year.

Moving on. I will discuss the operational progress made in each segment. Page 10 shows kakaku.com's operational progress. In the shopping business, revenue increased centered on PCs and large home appliances. Advertising business revenue increased due to higher revenue from home appliance manufacturer banner ads and advertorials. The graphs show the breakdowns of both the shopping and advertising businesses. kakaku.com had a stronger-than-usual first quarter and this trend continued in the second quarter. The shopping business performed well due to demand ahead of the consumption tax hike that went into effect on October 1, while advertising also performed solidly based on the expected demand ahead of the consumption tax hike.

Page 11 provides an explanation of the results for kakaku.com's service business. The graph on the left shows the breakdown of revenue in the service business. In the second quarter, all categories -- personal finance, telecommunications, automobile, moving companies and other performed relatively well. Revenue in the personal finance category increased to 42.8% year-on-year. Revenue in the telecommunications category increased 14.8%. There was a 14.2% increase in the automobile category and a 25.0% increase in the moving companies' category.

The graph on the right shows the number of credit cards issued. In the second quarter, there was a 35.5% year-on-year increase in the number of credit cards issued via kakaku.com. This increase was due to a number of factors, including the solid growth in access figures. However, one particularly large factor was the increase in credit card issuance resulting from demand for reward points on cashless purchases, as a part of the government's efforts to promote cashless shopping following the October 1 tax hike, and this trend is continuing.

Moving along, I will discuss tabelog's business. Page 12 gives an overview of tabelog's operational progress. The number of fee-paying restaurants increased to 58,200 as of the end of September, while monthly revenue per restaurant rose to JPY 30,400. The graph on the left shows the number of fee-paying restaurants. This number was 58,200 as of the end of September, and of those, 40,500 restaurants are on new fee plans.

Next, Page 13 shows the quarterly totals of seat reservations on tabelog. The number of seat reservations in the second quarter increased 28.1% year-on-year to 9.01 million. Also, tabelog launched an online restaurant reservation service for inbounded tourists from China, concerning which we issued a news release. tabelog also partnered with a Chinese online search platform to launch a service that accepts online restaurant reservations from tourists.

From Page 14, I will discuss operational progress in the New Media and Solutions and Finance segment. There are many categories in the New Media and Solutions segment, and the graphs are quite detailed. Both Kyujin Box and Time Design posted very strong revenue results. As shown by the second to top bar on the graph, Time Design saw a 68.3% year-on-year increase in revenue, while Kyujin Box saw a 263% increase in revenue. In other words, its revenue was roughly 3.5x that of the year earlier period.

Sumaity, shown on the very bottom, also performed extremely well, growing its revenue by 52.2% year-on-year. The graph on the right shows the number of monthly users and the quarterly revenue for Kyujin Box, as was also reported on at the first quarter result briefing. The number of monthly users increased 114.1% year-on-year, while revenue was 4.5% higher than in the first quarter.

Page 15 covers Finance and Time Design. Kakaku.com Insurance's performance was extremely strong. As in addition to the mainstay products, there were sharp increases in both pet insurance and overseas travel insurance. The graph on the left shows the number of monthly users and revenue for Kakaku.com Insurance's overseas travel insurance. There was a 19.1% year-on-year increase in monthly users, while revenue increased to 27.2% year-on-year.

As I mentioned a moment ago, Time Design saw a 68.3% year-on-year increase in revenue. In particular, dynamic packaged sales for domestic facilities increased 20.0% year-on-year, while dynamic packaged sales for overseas hotels increased 133.6% year-on-year, with growth more than doubling year-on-year.

This concludes my discussion of second quarter results for each segment. From Page 17 onward, I will discuss some of our initiatives going forward in each segment.

First, Page 17 introduces some initiatives by Kyujin Box, which is performing extremely well. The graph on the left shows how the number of monthly users has trended until now. In order to further increase the number of users, Kyujin Box will enhance content, expand the range of information it provides and engage in promotions involving online video ads and so on. Kyujin Box has also launched a new monetization scheme. Kyujin Box's main source of revenue is job posting sites, but going forward, it plans to increase monetization by receiving ads directly from companies seeking recruits.

Page 18 explains Kakaku.com Insurance, LCL and Bus Hikaku Navi. Kakaku.com Insurance has seen dramatic growth in business both last year and this year. We have an extremely strong platform for new life and non-life insurance policy enrollment, and have made it easier for customers to consider switching from current policies to new ones. We will continue working to make our content even more user-friendly.

By enhancing its content, we saw a large increase in applications. More specifically, a 28.5% year-on-year increase in life insurance applications and a 35% year-on-year increase in non-life insurance applications.

Bus Hikaku Navi is the leading Japanese site for searching for highway buses and overnight buses as well as ticketing. Currently, in addition to highway buses and overnight buses, the service is working to enhance content by adding searches for bus tours, including entertainment-related tours, as we look to cover all bus-related travel options.

Page 19 explains some future initiatives for Kakaku.com. One initiative will be to enhance the site's content in line with the diversification of payment options, including separately showing credit card payment prices in conjunction with the increase in credit card payments. In response to the needs of consumers, we are working to enhance our contents to show users extremely complicated and detailed information, including what kinds of reward points can be earned at which stores when cashless payments are made as well as -- although we are currently unable to show prices or the lowest prices specifically for credit card purchases.

A second initiative is to redesign the vehicle model page in the automobile category. While automobile content is not so prominent on kakaku.com, if one compares the automobile content on its own with other domestic car portal sites, you will see that kakaku.com's automobile category has a large number of users and advertising demand is extremely high.

In order to make the content even more user-friendly, we will include not only specs, such as price and model, but also enhance our information on buyback assessments, along with reviews and word-of-mouth information, which have been a strength of kakaku.com as well as test drive reports by professional riders, together with content from affiliate company, WebCG.

Finally, Page 20 discusses tabelog's future initiatives. The strategy remains the same as before. But going forward, we will continue to focus on increasing online reservations. In addition to taking steps to enhance the site's user friendliness, by bolstering marketing, we will further increase information of seat inventory and also work to make online reservations more popular and widespread.

Another new tabelog initiative is the Tabelog Takeout app shown on this page. This service will launch on a very small scale, initially covering only some parts of Tokyo's Shibuya ward. While a number of other companies are providing online services for restaurant selection and food delivery, we believe Takeout is a domain which has not received much attention online but that has potentially very large demand. We believe this service will go well, particularly due to the fact that tabelog already has very good relationships with restaurants.

This concludes my presentation on the results for the second quarter of the fiscal year ending March 2020. Thank you very much.