REA Group Ltd (ASX: REA), the owner of realestate.com.au, released its 2018 financial results to the market today revealing a 23% jump in profit.

REA Group owns prominent internet property portals like realestate.com.au, flatmates.com.au and Spacely. It also has a stake in international domains like iProperty and realtor.com.

In an announcement to the ASX today, REA Group reported revenue of $807 million for the year to June 30th 2018, an improvement of 20%. Profit came in at $253 million, up 23%, and the company announced a fully franked final dividend of 62 cents per share.

Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had been expecting a profit of $266 million and full year dividends of $1.08 per share. Given its full year dividends will total $1.09 it appears REA Group modestly exceeded forecasts.

Commenting on the year and operating performance, CEO Tracey Fellows said, “We have had an excellent year, delivering double digit growth. We’re giving consumers and customers even more reasons to come back to us by creating better and more personalised property experiences.”

As always, REA Group was quick to point out that realestate.com.au is the number-one property website for users, which is important because it charges real estate agents for advertising their rentals and homes for sale.

“In Australia, realestate.com.au continues to be the #1 place for property with 2.6 times the monthly visits of our nearest competitor,” Fellows said. “It’s been a year of unprecedented product launches focused on delivering value for our customers.”

Domain Holdings Australia Ltd (ASX: DHG), which was formerly a private business under the Fairfax Media Limited (ASX: FXJ) banner, is a key rival of REA Group albeit smaller.

REA Group’s Australian unit pushed revenue 21% higher despite declining project commencements. Its Financial Services business reported revenue of $29 million. In recent times, REA Group teamed up with National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) to launch its financial services offering.

In Asia and North America, where REA Group holds a 20% stake of Move Inc, the company reported growth. Move Inc increased its revenue 15% to $US452 million.

Outlook

In the year ahead, REA Group said it is targeting revenue growth in excess of expenses growth and said it will benefit from price increases for listings. However, it noted that the number of new project commencements in Australia’s east coast capital cities is expected to fall significantly.

The REA Group said price was trading 2% higher on Friday morning, according to Google Finance.

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