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Edited Transcript of CAR.AX earnings conference call or presentation 16-Feb-21 10:30pm GMT

·47 min read

Half Year 2021 Carsales.Com Ltd Earnings Call Hawthorn, VIC Feb 17, 2021 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Carsales.Com Ltd earnings conference call or presentation Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 10:30:00pm GMT TEXT version of Transcript ================================================================================ Corporate Participants ================================================================================ * Ajay Bhatia carsales.com Ltd - MD of Australia * Cameron McIntyre carsales.com Ltd - MD, CEO & Director * Sangbeom Kim carsales.com Ltd - CEO of Encar.com * William Elliott carsales.com Ltd - CFO ================================================================================ Conference Call Participants ================================================================================ * Anthony Porto Morgans Financial Limited, Research Division - Senior Analyst * Craig Wong-Pan CLSA Limited, Research Division - Research Analyst * Entcho Raykovski Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division - Research Analyst * Eric Choi UBS Investment Bank, Research Division - Director and Australian Telco & Media Lead Analyst * Fraser Mcleish MST Marquee - Head of Australian Media, Online and Telecommunications and Telco & Media Analyst * Kane Hannan Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Research Division - Research Analyst * Lucy Huang BofA Securities, Research Division - Analyst * Roger Samuel Jefferies LLC, Research Division - Equity Analyst ================================================================================ Presentation -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cameron McIntyre, carsales.com Ltd - MD, CEO & Director [1] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thanks, Matt. Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the half year conference call. On the call this morning from the company, you've also got Will Elliott, who's our Chief Financial Officer; Ajay Bhatia, who's our MD for carsales Australia; Paul Barlow, who's the MD for International; Jason Blackman, who's our Chief Information Officer; and we've also got from South Korea, SB Kim, who's the CEO of our Encar business over there. So what we'll do this morning, like we normally do, is I'll quickly move through the slide pack. I'll just call out the slide numbers that we're on, and then we'll try and leave 30 minutes for Q&A. So let's start with Slide 4. And I guess the first thing to say is we're pleased with how the business has responded over the last 6 months, which is, again, a reflection of the resilience in trading through the economic cycles and the important role that diversification continues to play for us in driving the business forward. Looking at some of the highlights. As you'll see, adjusted earnings growth was strong across both domestic and international businesses. Korea was the international standout here with material EBITDA growth, up 30% on pcp. At a group level, adjusted revenue was down 2%. We made the conscious decision to focus on profitability with tyresales. So without the impact of tyresales, we would have seen overall revenue growth of about 3%. Adjusted EBITDA, up 18%, which was very pleasing, as was the NPAT growth that we saw of 17% on pcp to $74 million. And actually, in fact, it's probably the fastest NPAT growth we've in around 6 years. As most would be aware, when COVID hit, we did take some swift action to support the dealer customers that we have. And it was a very difficult time going into last year, as many of you remember. And the dealer support package over the course of the second half, Victorian dealers, totaled to about $11 million. And that was the difference largely between reported and adjusted financial performance. Cash flow conversion has been excellent. And our balance sheet is in really strong shape. And that's been very supportive in our ability to lift dividends by 14% to $0.25 a share, and that reflects about an 83% payout ratio. On to Slide 5 and just looking at market-leading operational metrics there. And maybe we'll just take a quick step back and reflect on what's been happening behind these operational metrics and what's been really driving them. So just on the supply side factors in the automotive market, we've obviously seen fewer people trading vehicles recently. We've had supply disruption, particularly around new car with stock availability components and so on, creating some disruption there. New car -- private sellers have been nervous, particularly around having people in their homes and looking at their cars. And you've also seen corporates rolling over leases, and that's obviously led to some supply constraints that we've seen. Double down on that with demand side and some of the challenges that we're seeing here with higher demand generally as a result of things like people continuing to avoid public transport. You've got closed borders making local travel for holidays mandatory, really government incentives such as instant asset write-off programs, people being able to dip into the superannuation. Flexible working arrangements have all contributed to what we're seeing on the demand side and more people really adding cars to their families. I guess the outcome of all that has been a squeeze in inventory pretty much across the board, prices going up, particularly in used cars. I think a lot more people have been moving back into car ownership and things like time to sell -- the time it's taken for people to sell a car significantly quicker than the same time last year. Looking at the rest of the slide. And many of the data points really reflect to that strength in demand conditions and how as a business we've continued developing our strong market position while at the same time delivering excellent performance results for our customers. On to Slide 6. And I guess the first thing to say here is over the last 6 months, we've continued to work hard on building our audience and engagement, which is reflected in the market leadership here in Australia when compared to our closest competitors. Just looking at the December Nielsen content data that we always use and how we've performed across cars on a like-for-like basis against competitors. And you can clearly see the gap that exists in the size of audience, which is reflected in unique audience and total sessions. The way consumers engage with us is really reflected in time to sell on site and total page views, and that ultimately leads to more inquiries and helping people buy and sell cars in a shorter space of time than anyone else can. On to Slide 7. And there continues to be trends emerging, I guess, from the impacts of COVID on the way people are living their lives, including the movement to car ownership, people upgrading their cars, getting into boats, getting into caravans, avoidance of public transport and so on. But yes, other things customers are telling us about this. With the additional workplace flexibility, survey results are telling us that more people are going to choose to drive to and from work moving forward. So it's not simply going to be a case of avoiding public transport due to the virus. Some people are making a clear conscious decision because it basically suits them. The other clear change that we're seeing that's continuing to emerge is the comfort people have with online shopping, which is really accelerating and has a significant implication for how people shop for cars over time. This change is certainly of interest to us, as you expect, in how we evolve our customer offerings over time. Even typically less Internet savvy generations, which is this bullet point here particularly indicates, are really continuing to evolve their behavior in this way as well. And the third thing to say is the industry is in pretty good shape at the moment. You take out the supply issues, and there isn't too much going wrong. And we certainly feel that we've played a role in achieving that with close to $40 million in carsales support targeted to protect jobs and the industry over the past year, and that includes the $11 million provided to Victorian dealers in the first half of this financial year. On to Slide 9 and just looking at the group financial performance. And it's clear the evolution of our business strategy is continuing to build shareholder value, and it's certainly pleasing to see the healthy growth in adjusted earnings that we've achieved over the past 6 months. On to Slide 10 and just turning to look-through performance. And overall, we saw look-through revenue similar to last year and look-through EBITDA up 18% on pcp. The key takeouts here are that we're pleased to see our international investments continue to make a more significant contribution to the group, accounting for 25% of our look-through revenue and 20% of our look-through EBITDA with 17%, 41% growth across each for the half. And that's been an excellent outcome, particularly given that we're in a COVID environment. As we look forward, I guess there is a lot more that we expect to see coming from these international investments, and they will continue to play a more significant part of our growth as we go forward, I expect. Just looking to Slide 11 now and turning to segment performance. And in relation to revenue overall, we're pleased with performance here, particularly given the lockdown restrictions that impacted our Victorian business and its customers during the half. Splitting out the impacts of tyresales, adjusted revenue increased by 3% on pcp, which was also a pleasing outcome, and that was driven largely by the material strength in dealer and our Asia segments and offset by the challenging new car market and the impact on media spend there. Looking at EBITDA, the segments there. And I guess the first thing to say here is that every segment of the business has made a meaningful contribution to our earnings growth, up 18% on pcp, with more than 1/3 of our earnings growth coming from international markets. And this is despite the challenging environment outside Australia. The online advertising segment earning growth was achieved predominantly through dealer revenue growth as well as our rigorous focus that we have on core cost management. Data and research and services EBITDA pcp growth was consistent with FY '20, and that reflected the good efforts of the team on -- particularly on cost management. The 28% constant currency growth in the Asian segment really reflects the standout contribution Korea is making with some operating leverage also flowing through the half. In Latin America, it's been a tough environment there at the moment and with COVID-related challenges, of course, such as new car supply issues and so on. We have continued to invest in product there over the last 6 months. And we're pleased with how that's going. The team have been very disciplined with cost as well. So as much as we're ballpark breakeven in the region now, I think we see good opportunities in the market when things begin to improve there over time. Looking at Slide 12. And as we saw last year, we've continued to see very good overall EBITDA margin performance with all parts of the business showing margin growth. The 4.2% growth in domestic margins reflects our ability to maintain a strong cost discipline in the business while exercising some operational leverage and turning out resilient revenue outcomes. In the domestic investments, RedBook Inspect and tyresales overall margin impact was also positive, contributing 3.7%, which was again through good cost management and the continued focus on profitable sales outcomes for tyresales. In Asia, our Korean margins improved by 50 basis points despite the ongoing investment in new branch operations being more than offset by improved utilization of existing -- our existing branches and some cost discipline along the way. As mentioned earlier, achieving close to breakeven in Latin America, particularly over the last 6 months, it has also had a positive impact on overall margins as well. I think the other thing I'd probably add at this point is, as you'll see from the commentary, that we will be looking to invest in some specific areas in half 2, both domestically and in Korea, for instance. In Korea, we're seeing a big opportunity in the C2B space with Dealer Direct, and we'll talk about that a little bit more later. But we do want to push that hard in half 2. And we've also seen the discontinuation of some wage subsidies here in Australia. So we don't anticipate being able to hold that margin in half 2. On to Slide 13 and just looking at adjusted NPAT and the major movements below EBITDA. So D&A increased by 14% on pcp, which is fairly consistent with half 2 last year and reflects the ongoing investment that we've been making in globalizing the company, supporting the growth-generating initiatives that we have and ensuring that we're providing world-class facilities for our staff when they can eventually one day get to use them properly. Net finance cost up slightly, reflecting the marginally higher average debt balance over the period. Profit from associates was down 3%, and that's really exchange rate impacts of the Brazilian real on Webmotors. And finally, as mentioned earlier, the Board has declared a final $0.25 dividend per share, which is up 14% on the same time last year. On to Slide 14 and just looking at cash flows and balance sheet. And obviously, we are a highly generative cash business, and it's great to see our cash conversion continuing to improve here, as it's been doing over the last several years. Our leverage is also continuing to improve, and that's dropped to 1.5x debt-to-EBITDA. And the 7% increase in CapEx that you'll see on this slide is also about our continued investment in tech to support the international markets that we have and our domestic product development. Maybe turning now to the Australian businesses and go to Slide 16. We'll just talk about dealer for a moment. So dealer revenue growth up 10% to $87 million was a pleasing outcome for the half in what's continued to be a very strong used car market for our customers. The difference between adjusted and reported revenue really reflects the rebates provided to Victorian dealers during the half in our customer support package. If you look at the half 1 growth of 10%, where that 10% growth came from was continued good growth in top of the funnel traffic to car sales, which flowed through to used car lead volumes. And that represented about 6% of that 10% growth. We've done a price rise in February, which many of you will know, and that will flow through into half 2. But last year's price change represented about 4% of the 10% growth achieved. And while depth product was in line with this time last year, where we're happy with how the mix in depth is evolving. And -- but this overall really reflects the strong demand for the cars and consumer inquiry volumes to the carsales site over the last 6 months. Just looking at private seller on Slide 17. And considering the challenges for people selling cars and getting on-site vehicle inspections done, particularly in Vic over the lockdown, along with people continue to hold on to cars they may have once traded in, which we could really see clearly coming through our survey data, private revenue was resilient, being flat on pcp. Instant Offer has continued to demonstrate really strong growth in Q2 in particular. And we're very, very excited about the long-term potential that, that product has. Tyresales, as mentioned, was where the decline was in private. And we're focused on profitability there and managing a slightly weaker tire market over the first half. RedBook Inspect was mentioned a second ago, impacted by COVID, particularly in Victoria. But we've seen things improving with the business over recent months, which is also pleasing. On to Slide 18 and just looking at our media performance. And the market for advertising overall was challenging as a result of weakened new car sales conditions and reductions in OEM ad spends that we saw. We do think we've picked up the market share along the way in what's been a contracted ad market. And that's really a reflection of the continued attractiveness that we have as we are as a business in terms of being a marketing channel and the strong growth that we've seen in audience and our product offering. We're also actually confident that we're in a good position coming into half 2 to deliver good growth on pcp in the second half in this part of the business as well. Just looking at data on Slide 19. And the difference between adjusted and reported revenue again reflects the rebates provided to Victorian dealers throughout much of half 1 for services like live market and other contracted services that we have. Revenue overall was flat on pcp, which was a similar outcome to what we saw last year. We did cease selling a warranty product we had in market. So underlying growth was probably closer to 3%. We also continue to see good demand from our proprietary data and research products, particularly RedBook, which continues to grow on a solid and consistent basis. Looking at Slide 21 in Asia, Encar in particular in South Korea. And it's been a really strong performance across our overseas operations over the last 6 months and with some really great achievements to mention here, starting with Korea. And really pleased with the performance of Encar over the last 6 months with 23% constant currency revenue growth and 30% constant currency EBITDA growth for the half. As most of you will know, it's been a challenging environment in Korea, particularly in the latter part of half 1 with tighter COVID-related restrictions. And I guess that clearly makes the performance here even more impressive. The growth in popularity of our premium products like Guarantee inspection and with the opening of some -- of 3 new branches over the last 6 months is really continuing to play an important role in driving that organic growth that we're seeing. We're also seeing some very strong growth coming from other premium products such as Dealer Direct and Home Delivery services play an important role in that half 1 performance. I guess as the business evolves, we do see considerable opportunity in that C2B space that Dealer Direct plays into. And as mentioned earlier, we're going to invest in that part of the business in half 2 and really give it a push along. We also saw good growth in operating metrics such as traffic, and that's helped to reinforce our market-leading position that we have in South Korea. I'm looking at Slide 22 and Latin America and Webmotors. And it's fair to say, I guess, the only thing that's really continued to stand in the way of delivering even better results in Brazil than the 11% and the 21% constant currency revenue and EBITDA growth is really being COVID-19. Finance revenue, I think as we've started talking about over the last 12 months, is becoming a more material part of that business and growing quickly, and it now represents about 15% of the top line. We've also signed a commercial partnership agreement for similar finance integration with Santander in our Chilean and Argentinian businesses, too. Dealer revenue growth, overall, was also good, while private, like other COVID environments, has been challenging. Obviously, getting people to come to the house in the middle of a pandemic has not been easy. Margins expanded also in Brazil, pushing closer to 50% as the business there also manage cost. And we're also -- and I think we mentioned this last year. We're also starting to look at that regional strategy push again, and we'll be investing in marketing to build brand traffic and customer penetration into those regional markets. We also saw strong growth in lead volumes, and customer numbers were also up 2% on pcp as well. Just to hit the rest of Latin America on Slide 23. And it's continued to be a challenging environment there, but we're pleased with the way the team in each of the countries has been working together and keeping costs well and truly under control. At the same time, we've been deploying new core product into each of our markets, one in particular called Control Panel, which is similar but also different to AutoGate here in Australia for customer and inventory management. We've now -- we're now in a position where all dealers are now migrated across for this platform in all countries, which is a good achievement. The other thing to say is, as I mentioned a second ago, we have begun to integrate our finance offering with Santander in Chile and Argentina, which is pleasing. And I guess we're in good shape for when COVID restrictions start to ease in each of those countries. Looking at strategy now and turning to Slide 25. And I guess this is the broader strategy upgrade -- update in terms of the focus of the business moving through FY '21. And we've presented this before to you. And I guess it's a business where we continue to be focused on our digital marketplaces, our value-added services and exploring those new opportunities to position the company well into the future as market trends change and consumer preferences evolve. So I'm not going to spend any time addressing that slide because you've seen it all before. On to Slide 26 and just looking at some of the Australian key focus areas in 2021. And as we did this time last year, we've given you these highlights here of the areas that we're going to focus on in our domestic markets. Since you saw this slide last time in August, there's probably one notable addition which is highlighted there, which is what we're looking to do in terms of helping dealers deliver an online car selling experience, which I'll jump in and talk a little bit more about now on Slide 27. So if you turn to Slide 27. And as a business, we've developed and tested and tried a lot of capability over the years to support customers and consumers in streamlining their car buying experience, which aligns with the purpose of the carsales business. With the challenges of COVID and the changes in consumer purchasing behavior to moving more online and as well as the evolution in the used car dealer model with the emergence of the likes of Carvana, where more of an end-to-end online car buying experience is offered, we think -- we do actually think about this as a model. And the consumer preference changes we're seeing and with our digital pedigree and with the strength of our car-buying audience that we bring, we think we're well positioned to support our dealers to facilitate the more digital buying experience customers are beginning to look for here as well. In the car buying cycle there, there are very clear stages of the journey, as you can see from the slide. And we have strong capability in most of these stages already. Our thinking is how do we pull these together in such a way to provide a seamless experience and a compelling service offering for our dealers to put to their customers. So I guess on that one, we'll probably have more to say about that over time and potentially in August. Looking at Slide 28. And yes, I guess what you're seeing here, we did show you something in August about this. It was probably more theoretical as opposed to what's now a reality in terms of product execution, and that's demonstrated on that slide. But just to take a quick step back. And we've always been very focused as a business on sellers and making sure they get the best possible outcomes in the shortest period of time. But one of the -- part of the buyer journey, which is to give people more confidence and peace of mind in transacting, is through trying to combine relevant insights like car history, market insights, price guides, reviews and ratings. And this has been a focus recently with the launch of FACTS+. I think overall, we're still working on this as a product. And it's probably not quite yet where we think it can get to, and it's one of the -- one area we think the market needs to evolve as consumers continue to move to -- their buying habits to online. I think this is going to help provide them with more trust and confidence when it comes to transacting. Let's move to Slide 29, and we spoke about this at -- in the October AGM. But as you know, one of the strategic priority areas we have is around future horizons, and one of those is in mobility services, which led to the launch of the Placie app, which is now in beta in the App Store and on Google Play. Placie's mission is -- it's simple. It's for everyone to get from place to place faster, cheaper and smarter. What Placie does is to integrate 8 different types of transport modes into a single mobility service. It's accessible on demand. So what that means for the consumer is the ability to compare, combine and book transport with a single app using real-time data and under one account. We felt that now is the right time to launch Placie as transport trends have continued to evolve and change over the last several years. And with COVID-19, consumer habits have obviously broken and new habits will eventually form. So we feel that we're -- the timing is right. We're hoping to be through beta in the coming months and to have completed all of our key partner integrations. But I encourage everyone on the call to please go to the App Store and Google Play and download the app, have a play with it and feel free to give us any feedback. But remember, it is in its beta testing phase. Just looking at international and on Slide 30. And it's the same as we presented last year. And hopefully, you guys can see that we're making good progress in all of these focus areas so far this year. And I'll quickly talk through a couple of the focus areas for half 2. So moving to Slide 31. And we put a slide into the August deck that showed the acceleration we were seeing in Dealer Direct and how the model works for capturing the C2B part of the trade market. So the next couple of slides won't be too unfamiliar with you. But as you can see from the chart at the bottom right of this slide, through continual concentration of effort and deployment of new capability, we're seeing that the growth is continuing to accelerate here even in the middle of a pandemic, which is pleasing given what they're going through. And obviously, the pedigree that we have as a trusted brand, our audience, our large dealership network, the data and the technology leadership that we have to make this really work, we think we're well positioned to make a great success of this product over time. On to Slide 32. And you can read the product description and model there. But I think there is an excellent opportunity to continue to push hard in this part of the market, and it's highly complementary to the rest of the Encar business as Instant Offer is to carsales. Over the next 6 months, as I said, what we plan to do is educate consumers, educate dealers through some marketing that we'll do. And hopefully, we'll see a broader rub-off on the Encar brand around this as well. And we'll also be continuing to enhance product features, evolve customer expectations and improve product experience through our dev team. We're also looking to increase the number of participating dealers on the platform, which has already doubled over the last 6 months. On to Slide 37 now. And yes, I mean I won't run through the trading observations for each segment. You guys can just read that. But I will say that assuming the current market environment remains stable and Victorian 5-day lockdown aside that we're forecasting to deliver moderate revenue growth and solid EBITDA and NPAT growth this year. As we've been talking about, there is a lot going on within the business at the moment. And there are some specific areas that we're going to invest in, in half 2 and really drive the future growth potential that we have, particularly in Australia, South Korea and Brazil. So sorry, I ran a couple of minutes over, but maybe Matt, happy to open up for questions. ================================================================================ Questions and Answers -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Operator [1] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (Operator Instructions) Your first question comes from Entcho Raykovski with Credit Suisse. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Entcho Raykovski, Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division - Research Analyst [2] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I've got a couple of questions. One is on costs and the second one is around volumes. So firstly, on costs. You've obviously given us an indication of that expected second half increase. I wonder if you can give us more color around the quantum that's expected beyond the reversal of the $6 million wage subsidy. And I mean if you can split that for the core domestic business and overall, that would also be helpful. But I guess any color you can provide would be useful. And then flowing on into FY '22, presumably, there should be a further step-up at least given the reversal of JobKeeper benefits in the first half. And then the second broader question, just wondering whether you're seeing any slowdown in used car volumes as new car inventory issues are resolved. Obviously, new car sales have been growing over the last 3 months. So what sort of impact are you seeing on the used car market? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cameron McIntyre, carsales.com Ltd - MD, CEO & Director [3] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thanks, Entcho. Do you want to do the cost question, Will? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- William Elliott, carsales.com Ltd - CFO [4] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes. No worries. Entcho, so I suppose on the cost, we've guided to obviously more costs in the second half. I won't give a numerical number, but maybe just a little bit more color around what's in there. So in the core business, there is no JobKeeper in the second half that we're forecasting. And obviously, we're forecasting against a half, a pcp half that includes JobKeeper. So that's $6 million or about there in terms of the increase. In terms of the other domestic increases, we had some standdowns in the second half of last year. We also had some other savings that we made through that period. We've also probably benefited a little bit from marketing reduction through that period. And so we're going to go a little bit harder on marketing in the core business in the second half. So there will be some increase there, and that's largely a timing-related thing. And then Encar is really the other big mover in the second half. So I think we're planning to invest into the Dealer Direct product. So overall, there will be a material uplift in cost in the second half, and it's driven by all those things. But I think the underlying margin of the business, as we look forward, is still going to -- got the potential to grow. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cameron McIntyre, carsales.com Ltd - MD, CEO & Director [5] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And just on new car volumes and impacts on used car, I guess, the thing to say there, Entcho, would be looking even into January, things like time to sell are still very low. And we -- I haven't seen a reversal in that. So volumes on the side -- inventory volumes on the side, probably up a little bit. And that's -- a big part of that is private sellers coming back into the market. They're probably held off a little bit, but velocity through the site is still very strong. In terms of new car and then the pickup in new car, I mean, I think the thing to remember here is the new car market is substantially smaller than the used car market. We do what -- we did over 900,000 cars -- new cars last year, and we do close to 4 million used cars. So as the new car market picks up, the impact on the used car market is lower. And I guess as a business, one of the things that we've seen, we have seen a bit of a pickup in new car. We can see that through obviously new car lead volumes that we're doing on car sales. We can also see that through things like editorial traffic coming to the site. So editorial traffic looking at new car is up. So we know more consumers are looking at new cars at the moment. But yes, supply is still very tight in both markets. So -- and I think we're all sort of anticipating that, that remains that way for probably the best part of at least 6 months. So that's probably the summary there. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Entcho Raykovski, Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division - Research Analyst [6] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- That's great. And just maybe a quick follow-up on costs. As we head in FY '22, I appreciate you're not providing guidance, but at the very least, we'll see the reversal of JobKeeper that you received in the first half. And are there any other kind of one-off items we should be aware of? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- William Elliott, carsales.com Ltd - CFO [7] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- No. I mean outside of JobKeeper, we've got the investment in the Dealer Direct product in Encar, which I think is -- that's a significant specific investment. We don't know what we're going to do with that product beyond this financial year. So that would be the only other big mover between periods between this year and next year. I mean obviously, we don't give guidance into '22, but they're the only big things I can see moving. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Operator [8] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Your next question comes from Kane Hannan with Goldman Sachs. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Kane Hannan, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Research Division - Research Analyst [9] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Three for me. And sorry to be specific on the first one. Just tyresales. So confirming revenues will be the same in the second half. Is that meaning there's going to be another $10 million revenue drag? Or is there any seasonality in that business? And can you just give us a sense of what the EBITDA delta has been for tyresales? Secondly, trying to look at the guidance statements, but could you give us a sense of how we interpret the delta between moderate and solid growth and sort of what that means? And then finally, just on the move to digital car buying and then some of the comments you're making in the presentation. Just interested what's driven that increasing focus over the last 6 months. Is that something your dealers have been asking for? Are you trying to take a greater share of the value exchange or obviously just responding to COVID? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cameron McIntyre, carsales.com Ltd - MD, CEO & Director [10] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Okay. We'll go in reverse order. So I guess the increasing focus on more of the e-commerce play has largely to do with, yes, those factors that you've seen with COVID, consumers moving more to transacting online. We also talked to all of our international platform partners, and we can see what's going on those other international markets. And this is where the market is moving over time. So as a business, we need to focus on what the consumer wants. And if the consumer wants us to move this way, then we need to respond in kind. So I guess it's been largely driven by what we've seen through the pandemic. On moderate to solid, I guess, Kane, you've been around long enough. And so most of you know what solid means. Moderately means less than solid. And that's probably the best way to guide you there. Do you want to talk about tyresales? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- William Elliott, carsales.com Ltd - CFO [11] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes. Yes, happy to take tyresales, Kane. So the revenue will be similar between half 2 and half 1. In terms of the drag in half 2 versus half 2 last year, it won't be as big because the second half last year for tyresales was also materially lower than its previous run rate. We expect, I think, still a smaller drag but nowhere near the drag that we saw in this half versus pcp just because the comparative period is a lot lower. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Operator [12] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Your next question comes from Roger Samuel with Jefferies. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Roger Samuel, Jefferies LLC, Research Division - Equity Analyst [13] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I've got 2 questions. The first one is on South Korea. We heard that Hyundai Motors have made some noise last year about entering the used car market. Can you talk about any potential risk for your business in South Korea? The second question is on dealer finance. I think you talked about it in the past. Just wondering if you have any update on how you're going with that product. And have you started to monetize finance with the dealers? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cameron McIntyre, carsales.com Ltd - MD, CEO & Director [14] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ajay, do you want to do dealer finance? And then I'll do Hyundai. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ajay Bhatia, carsales.com Ltd - MD of Australia [15] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes. Thanks, Roger. On dealer finance, we have started monetizing. I guess the start has been a bit softer than we expected, but it's picking up pace. It's just doing the deals with all the finance providers and getting all the legals and everything across that takes a bit of time. And there's still a bit of -- we're still feeling the Royal Commission, and the finance providers just take longer to do the legals as a result of what happened in the past. But the good news is we earned a bit of money in January, and commercialization is accelerating. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cameron McIntyre, carsales.com Ltd - MD, CEO & Director [16] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And just on Hyundai, yes, for those people on the call that don't know, I mean, it's illegal for a new car dealer to -- so it has been illegal for a new car dealer to sell used cars in Korea. And there has been some debate for many years about allowing Hyundai to sell used cars as well as new cars. And I guess every time these debates come up, dealers have exercised their unhappiness around that, and they tend to push back very hard. They're militant. They're quite militant in Korea, and they have a very strong voice. I guess if there is, one day, ever a change in the way that's managed or legislated, Hyundai would still need the support of the dealer network to make this happen as well as that of the government. And there are some specific things that would make it difficult for Hyundai if they didn't have that dealer support. And I guess the other thing to say is whether it does or doesn't happen one way or another, we -- it could actually be a positive for Encar. It could be neutral or it could be a negative. But I guess that remains totally to be seen. And at the moment, it's still very -- it's very speculative. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Operator [17] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Your next question comes from Fraser Mcleish with MST Marquee. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Fraser Mcleish, MST Marquee - Head of Australian Media, Online and Telecommunications and Telco & Media Analyst [18] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Well done, guys, on the performance in obviously trying conditions. So just my question, Cam, just I think you said dealer inquiry good in January and February. I just wondered, can you give us a number on that? The reason for that is just obviously we're getting into kind of more normal environment. So what you're seeing in January and Feb might be more sort of -- better -- more like what we're going to see sort of going forward. That would be helpful. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cameron McIntyre, carsales.com Ltd - MD, CEO & Director [19] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes. So I mean we've got to ignore Victoria over the last week because what tends to happen for us, as you know, we talked about this last year, was when states go into lockdown, we see leads come off. And then when that lockdown comes off, there's an acceleration in growth and things pop. So I guess in terms of overall lead volumes across other states, they're still good. So we're still seeing good growth in used car lead volumes. We're seeing very strong growth in new car lead volumes. But new car is off a lower base for us, as you guys know. So yes, overall, I think the picture is still pretty good. You go back to November last year, and it was exceptionally strong. So relatively speaking, it's still good. But it's probably a little bit lower in terms of pcp growth than what we saw in November. But that's because November was very, very high. Does that make sense? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Fraser Mcleish, MST Marquee - Head of Australian Media, Online and Telecommunications and Telco & Media Analyst [20] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes. Sure. I guess when you say it was plus 6% for 1H in terms of inquiry volume, so I'm assuming that we're below that kind of levels now. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cameron McIntyre, carsales.com Ltd - MD, CEO & Director [21] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- No, we're not saying -- we're not assuming anything. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- William Elliott, carsales.com Ltd - CFO [22] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes. I think the plus 6% is the relative contribution to dealer revenue, and it's not all leads in dealer. And so it doesn't translate into the lead growth straight into that revenue contribution because it only makes up 2/3 of the dealer revenue for us. And not all months are the same either throughout the 6 months. So the 6% is the average as well. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Operator [23] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Your next question comes from Eric Choi with UBS. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Eric Choi, UBS Investment Bank, Research Division - Director and Australian Telco & Media Lead Analyst [24] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Just first one maybe for Ajay on Instant Offer. I guess demand for that's probably the strongest it's ever been given the lack of stock. Just wondering if you can talk to the growth rate in that product. Are we pulling any yield levers yet? I guess do we still think that TAM is circa 5,000 cars a month? Or has COVID sort of changed that? And then second one, maybe for SB. Obviously, you guys think Dealer Direct is going to be a really good opportunity there. I think you guys previously told us it's sort of worth $120 per transaction. I was just wondering if you could kind of give us an update on percentage penetration of that product, maybe like sort of OpEx, CapEx, sort of investments similar to what you guys gave us for Guarantee. That would be helpful. And then maybe just last one, just kind of following on Fraser's questioning. I guess just within guidance, have we sort of factored the possibility for those fourth quarter '21 lead volume -- for that volume growth to kind of slow down given, I guess, we just had such strong double-digit comps in fourth quarter '20 last year? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cameron McIntyre, carsales.com Ltd - MD, CEO & Director [25] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- So Will, just on guidance. Do you want to talk to that for a second? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- William Elliott, carsales.com Ltd - CFO [26] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes. So in terms of the guidance, I think, yes, I mean, the fourth quarter was obviously strong last year. And so yes, we've definitely taken into account the strength of that comparative period, albeit I think what we're seeing is still good underlying demand for cars, and we haven't seen that come off at all. So I think that we've definitely factored in the strong Q4. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cameron McIntyre, carsales.com Ltd - MD, CEO & Director [27] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ajay, do you want to do Instant Offer? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ajay Bhatia, carsales.com Ltd - MD of Australia [28] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes. Eric, on Instant Offer, it's not time to pull the yield yet because we're seeing really good volumes at the moment. So there will be no changes in yield. We have made some changes and top of funnel is increasing. We -- our conversion is high as it's ever been. And on your question around whether it's 5,000 cars or what it is, we -- I'm certainly reassessing that because I think we can go beyond that now because the volumes are so strong at the moment that the 5,000 was an assumption we made based on studying overseas markets and looking at similar comparables. But what we're seeing at the moment is a trend towards C2B globally and the market itself is expanding. So I wouldn't be surprised if the number is, in terms of market size, is much higher than 5,000. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cameron McIntyre, carsales.com Ltd - MD, CEO & Director [29] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And just on Dealer Direct, Eric, we won't -- SB won't guide you on CapEx spend or investment spend specifically. But SB, do you want to talk about Dealer Direct? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sangbeom Kim, carsales.com Ltd - CEO of Encar.com [30] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sure. Thank you for asking, Eric. Regarding average fee level for the Dealer Direct, the one thing is we're still in the experiencing and experimenting and refining what is the right level of the fee given that we are at the stage of pursuing the gross at this moment. But I think in general, I mean, we aim to and would like to charge about roughly 1% of the vehicle value. So the $120, $120 that you say as a number, because average vehicle price here in Korea will be somewhere around 1,000 -- $10,000 to $15,000, that's why you come up with the $120, which is around 1%, right? But still, again, we are experimenting of that to get the right balance, I mean, to pursue the gross volume as well as maximize the value. And regarding the OpEx and CapEx, I mean, as Cam said, I mean, to be honest, we haven't decided exactly how much we are going to invest because it's a function of a lot of different considerations, not necessarily how much money that we can and would like to, but also the competitive dynamics as well as our financial target as well. I think -- I mean one thing we know for sure is the C2B domain itself is, unlike the past, we now are on the same page in that, I mean, it's an opportunity that we need to pursue and grab. So I mean we will pay more attention, not necessarily how much we are going to invest, but also when it's going to be the right time to invest as well to feed this opportunity. So that's pretty much the answer from my side. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Operator [31] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Your next question comes from Anthony Porto with Morgans Financial. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Anthony Porto, Morgans Financial Limited, Research Division - Senior Analyst [32] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Just to revisit the -- getting involved in more of the transaction side there. Do you think this is something that dealers are ready for to kind of back you guys into this? Or -- and do they see it as a kind of way to go up against the easyauto123? Or do you think they're more inclined to try and do it themselves and aggregate that? And then secondly, I guess on competition. You've seen Google in the U.K. kind of start trialing car listings on their business side of the site. I was just wondering if you thought that, that could be something they would trial down here in Australia. And how are you prepared to kind of combat that? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cameron McIntyre, carsales.com Ltd - MD, CEO & Director [33] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes, you want to -- Ajay, do... -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ajay Bhatia, carsales.com Ltd - MD of Australia [34] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- So just around transaction, the trend globally is the Carvanas of the world and the Cazoos the world, the difference is Carvana and Cazoos are competing with dealers. Our intention is to facilitate dealers to compete with the Carvanas and Cazoos rather than become a Carvana or a Cazoo. We, in fact, have most of the pieces of the puzzle there today. It's just a matter of putting it together into an experience that allows dealers to transact online as much as possible. And if these lockdowns are to continue, the dealers need the tools to be able to transact online. So that's certainly been a catalyst for us in terms of starting to think about this. But the way we sort of look at it, a marketplace that aggregates the entire country and offering dealers, small or big dealers, the ability to transact online puts everyone on a level-playing field, and that's good for the industry. So we're committed to it. And it's the right trend to follow. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cameron McIntyre, carsales.com Ltd - MD, CEO & Director [35] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And just to give you an example, a couple of scale -- I mean a couple of scale issues. I mean to Ajay's point, Cazoo has about 4,000 cars for sale. And Auto Trader in the U.K. has 0.5 million cars for sale. AUTO1, which is another variant in Germany, would have around 30,000 cars for sale. And Mobile, which would be the biggest platform in Germany, would have 1.5 million cars for sale. So getting scale into these models is tougher on a dealer-by-dealer basis. I mean if you look at Carvana, Carvana managed to sell about 170,000 cars in the last 9 months, in the U.S. itself 40 million used cars in a year. So it's tough to get scale. So we think with the scale that we have, the technology that we have, the audience, we can help -- really help dealers to move in this direction. That's where the consumer wants to go. And just in relation to Google, yes, we see Google trial a lot of things. And we have seen Google trial a lot of things over many, many, many years. What they're trialing in the U.K., I'm not that familiar with. But yes, I can't really comment on that. But yes, we'll have a look at that. But I think we're not we're not overly concerned. It would be probably focused in the new car space and not the used car space. It's traditionally been where they've looked from time to time. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ajay Bhatia, carsales.com Ltd - MD of Australia [36] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And just one thing that I'd add is on the transaction model. The dealers who want to do this themselves, we still want to partner with those dealers as well because we still have the audience. Regardless of whether they can do it themselves or can't, we have a solution for both. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Operator [37] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Your next question comes from Craig Wong-Pan with CLSA. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Craig Wong-Pan, CLSA Limited, Research Division - Research Analyst [38] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I've got 2 questions. First one on depth growth. In the period, that was subdued because of the strong underlying demand. Just wanted to get your thoughts around how we should think about depth growth continuing into the second half given demand sounds like it's still fairly strong. And then second question, just wondering how quickly the improving new car market could flow into your media revenues. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cameron McIntyre, carsales.com Ltd - MD, CEO & Director [39] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes. Do you want to do the depth, Ajay? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ajay Bhatia, carsales.com Ltd - MD of Australia [40] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes. So on depth, one of the things we saw last -- in the last 6 months is while depth was fairly flat, and that's due to market conditions, as you point out, but we saw a 15% increase -- over 15% increase in reoccurring depth revenue. So we're really happy with how the team has performed over the last 6 months in terms of improving the profile of depth revenue. I don't expect depth to start growing in the next 6 months because as you rightly point out, market conditions are really strong. And we're fortunate we're in this business where we have countercyclical stuff such as when leads go well, depth goes down a little bit. And when leads come down, depth goes up. I expect the next 6 months to be fairly flat with depth. But we'll continue to focus on improving our penetration of reoccurring depth revenue. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cameron McIntyre, carsales.com Ltd - MD, CEO & Director [41] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Do you want to talk about media? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ajay Bhatia, carsales.com Ltd - MD of Australia [42] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes. On media, we are seeing some good trends. While last 6 months were negative 19, that still performed better than the industry. We are continuing to see that better performance than industry in this half. If anything, if January was anything to go by end December and so on, more recent trend is we are going very close to last year's comparables in media, which is something that we haven't seen in a long, long time. And I expect over the next 6 months, media revenue will, in fact, grow on pcp. And there should be good growth. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cameron McIntyre, carsales.com Ltd - MD, CEO & Director [43] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- We probably have time for one more question. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Operator [44] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Our next question comes from Lucy Huang with Bank of America. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lucy Huang, BofA Securities, Research Division - Analyst [45] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Just wanted to squeeze in, I guess, one question. So just in relation to Placie, probably very early days given you're going into beta testing. But just wondering what your thoughts are on how to monetize this product in the future. Do you think it will come from the supplier side? Or do you think you could charge a user fee for that product? Just wondering how your -- what your early thinking around the monetization of Placie is looking like. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cameron McIntyre, carsales.com Ltd - MD, CEO & Director [46] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes. Thanks, Lucy. So there's probably 2 sources of monetization for that business. Obviously, one is there's a commission component based on trips taken. And those commission percentages can vary depending on the transportation channel it's taken. So that's one -- that's the traditional way in which these platforms will monetize. The other thing, I think, that's more interesting to many of us is -- if we can really scale that platform is the data that will come from it, what will the data tell us in terms of consumer consumption, of mobility services, what it will tell us in terms of road and infrastructure usage and what sort of value does that provide to the likes of government in terms of planning for the future and so on. We think that part is really quite interesting to us, and we're excited about that. But they tend to be the 2 ways that we think about it. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Operator [47] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- There are no more question at this time. I'll hand back to Mr. McIntyre for closing remarks. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cameron McIntyre, carsales.com Ltd - MD, CEO & Director [48] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thanks, Matt, and thanks, everyone, for joining the call this morning. Look forward to catching up with you all over the course of the next few days. Thanks a lot.