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SEEK lifts revenue on Aust, NZ investments

 

SEEK Limited has lifted revenue and underlying profit as long-term investments in its Australian and New Zealand arm begin to show promise.

The online job-search company's underlying net profit, which excludes one-off significant items, grew 11 per cent to $220.8 million in the 12 months to June 30, while total revenue from ordinary activities rose nine per cent to $1.06 billion.

But the company's statutory net profit fell five per cent to $340 million, due to a short-fall in capital gains from 2016 when SEEK sold its IDP Education business.

Co-founder and chief executive Andrew Bassat says SEEK's Australia and New Zealand Employment (ANZ) business is growing rapidly, with revenue from the division up 48 per cent since 2014 thanks to long-term investments and despite subdued macro-economic conditions.

ANZ sales revenue climbed 14 per cent to $355.9 million, from $313.1 million in the prior corresponding period, while earnings (EBITDA) jumped 11 per cent to $197.9 million, supported by yield, new products and enhancements.

"It really has come from a lot of the investment we have made over the past five years which is starting to come through in that we are providing a broader range of services," Mr Bassat told AAP.

Meanwhile, sales revenue for SEEK's international division, which accounts for almost two thirds of its total revenue, grew six per cent to $629.3 million, despite weak economic conditions in Brazil and Southeast Asia dampening revenue in the first half.

But its earnings fell three per cent, dragged down, in part, by an 8 per cent fall in Brasil Online.

Mr Bassat said that while confidence remained low surrounding its Brazil business, its Asian division showed promise with second-half revenue ahead of the first half's.

"In Asia, there has been some macro-improvements in some of the markets such as Hong Kong and Malaysia," Mr Bassat said, adding that he was optimistic about the trend continuing.

"China and Southeast Asia are massive markets so they should be able to grow much faster than the rest of the business and really become a very important part of our revenue profitability before too long."

Shares in SEEK were down 5.75 per cent at $16.81 at 1143 AEST on Wednesday.

SEEK FALLS SHORT OF 2016:

* Full-year net profit down 5pct to $340m

* Revenue up 9pct to $1.06 billion

* Final dividend of 21cps, fully franked, up two cents