Auto Trader has revealed a record set of results, posting large gains in revenue and profit last year.
Full-year results for the ended March 31, 2022 published on the London Stock Exchange this morning (May 26), show revenue came to £432.7m and trade revenue was £388.3m – up 65 per cent and 72 per cent respectively on the year before.
Profit before tax was up a whopping 91 per cent to £301m on the prior year.
The figures represented Auto Trader’s best ever financial performance.
In its accounts, the company did caveat the numbers were ‘abnormally high’ due to its activity to support dealers the year before.
In the prior year Auto Trader gave away free advertising to car dealers during lockdowns, thereby taking a hit with its financial results in 2021.
When FY22 is compared with FY20, revenue still stands at a healthy 17 per cent up and trade revenue rose 20 per cent, while profit before tax was up 20 per cent from £157.4m to £301m.
Operating profit margin last year also increased to 70 per cent, which was ‘consistent’ with 2020’s levels, Auto Trader said.
Auto Trader CEO Nathan Coe, pictured, said: ‘This year marks the best financial and operational performance in our history, which is credit to our people and the partnerships we have with our customers.
‘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.
‘Despite the current high levels of economic uncertainty and industry change, we enter the year with good reason for both confidence and optimism.’
He added: ‘Our strong results are a testament to the hard work of our people, coupled with the strength of our partnerships with customers, which I am very proud of.
‘We are committed to investing in our platform for the benefit of retailers and consumers, with products that will enable more of the car buying and selling journeys to be completed online.
‘We will remain front of mind with car buyers by continuing to invest significantly in our brand across all marketing channels and through new partnerships like the one we announced this week with What Car?.
‘Inevitably the changing economic backdrop will begin to impact our industry, but we can take comfort from robust demand on Auto Trader today and that owning a vehicle is not, in most cases, a discretionary purchase.
‘I am confident there are many ways that we can continue to support retailers to adapt and trade successfully through our products, data, insight and people.
‘Our industry has been incredibly resilient through some turbulent recent times and it will remain strong through this next phase.’
Cross platform visits were up nine per cent to 63.8m per month, up from 58.3m the year before, while the average number of dealer forecourts was up five per cent to 13,964.
The average car dealer paid £2,210 per month with Auto Trader – up £886.
The average number of cars on Auto Trader actually fell, though, by 11 per cent to 430,000.
New cars took the biggest hit – down from 47,000 in FY21 to 29,000 last year.
During the year Auto Trader announced its intention to purchase Autorama for an initial £150m in case, with a further £50m of deferred consideration.
The firm said regulatory approvals still had not been received at the time of publishing the full-year results.
Looking ahead, Auto Trader reported it expects ‘growth’ but less than ‘the exceptional performance achieved in 2022’, adding ‘we expect he price lever to be broadly consistent with last year, and the stock lever to be flat’.
Auto Trader also said it anticipates average retailer forecourts to be marginally down year-on-year, ‘as market conditions start to toughen’.