Nathan Coe, Auto TraderNathan Coe, Auto Trader


Auto Trader Group sees revenue soar 14% and pre-tax profit top £345m in 2023

  • Pre-tax profit jumped from £293.6m in 2022 to £345.2m over the past 12 months
  • Group raked in £570.9m in revenue
  • Auto Trader made operating profit of £378.6m while Autorama remained in the red
  • Average revenue per dealer was up 12% (or £284) to £2,721
  • Firm issues confident outlook for year ahead

Time 8:46 am, May 30, 2024

Auto Trader Group has hailed the last 12 months as ‘another strong year’ after it finished the period with pre-tax profits that soared by 18%.

Results for the year ended March 31, 2024, which were released this morning via the London Stock Exchange, show the group raked in £570.9m in revenue last year. That was made up of £529.7m for Auto Trader while its leasing platform Autorama pulled in £41.2m.

It was a 14% improvement on the £500.2m in revenue generated the year before, itself a 16% jump on 2021.

Group operating profit soared by 26% from £277.6m in 2022 to £348.7m. Despite the rise, the figure was dragged down by Autorama which made an operating loss of £8.8m, while Auto Trader made an operating profit of £378.6m.

Speaking to Car Dealer, Auto Trader’s chief operating officer Catherine Faiers said the Autorama business, though its losses are reducing year-on-year, is expected to continue to make a loss due to ‘market conditions’ in the new car market and leasing sector.

Group operating profit margin was up by six percentage points to 61%.

Pre-tax profit for the group soared from £293.6m in 2022 to £345.2m over the past 12 months, meaning 2023 beat 2021’s figure of £301m. Adjusted EBITDA rose by 14% to £375.3m.

The firm said it has returned £250.3m to shareholders (2023: £225.0m) through £169.9m of share buybacks and dividends of £80.4m. With a proposed final dividend of 6.4 pence per share (2023: 5.6 pence per share), total dividends for the year are 9.6 pence per share (2023: 8.4 pence per share).

Commenting on the markets, the report said the used car retail sector was ‘robust’ during the year, and it expects this theme to play out in the 2024 financial year. The new market, meanwhile, was more ‘challenging’ with discounting starting to return.

‘We are well placed to support the structural changes in this market, which remains a significant opportunity. We now have products to support franchise retailers, manufacturers and leasing companies selling new cars directly to consumers on Auto Trader,’ the report said.

During the year, Auto Trader rolled out its Deal Builder product on a trial basis, and by the end of March 2024 had around 1,100 dealers signed up and seen around 16,000 deals take place.

Average revenue per retailer (ARPR) was up 12% (or £284) to £2,721 on average per month (2023: £2,437), driven by a growths in price, stock and product.

In October 2022, Auto Trader Group sold its Webzone business to Mediahuis Ireland for €30m (£26m). Removing those dealers (305), the average number of dealer forecourts on Auto Trader’s books in the year declined slightly to 13,783 (2023: 13,913).

Looking ahead, Auto Trader Group said it expects ARPR to grow across the three levellers of price, stock and product – price growth of £90-£100, product growth of £120-£130 and stock growth of £20-£40.

It added it expects ‘average retailer forecourts likely to be marginally down year-on-year, as market conditions continue to return to normal levels’, while ‘consumer services and manufacturer & agency are expected to grow at a rate of mid-to-high single digits.’

Within regards to Autorama, the group said: ‘We expect Autorama operating losses to reduce year-on-year, despite tight supply conditions in the leasing channel for new vehicles continuing. Group central costs, which relate to the amortisation of Autorama acquired intangibles, will be c.£13m for the year.’

Commenting on the results, CEO Nathan Coe (pictured top) said: ‘This has been another year of strong financial, operational and strategic progress for Auto Trader.

‘More than eight in 10 car buyers now use Auto Trader during their car buying journey and two thirds of buyers only use Auto Trader. Our data and technology continue to underpin the UK automotive industry and we are constantly innovating to help our retailers access the very best tools to achieve their business goals.

‘We are confident in our prospects for the year ahead and, in the longer term, we see significant opportunities to continue growing our marketplace and to move more of the car buying process online, on Auto Trader.

‘As ever, I would like to thank our people, customers and the UK’s car buyers for continuing to place their trust in us.’

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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