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Car dealer advertising drives Auto Trader to post £133 million operating profit

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Auto Trader recorded £133.1 million operating profit from £255.9m turnover in the 12 months to March 29.

The automotive digital services group has reported to the London Stock Exchange that its operating profits rose 35% in the year, while turnover was 8% up.

Its adjusted underlying EBITDA margin increased by 4pts to 61%, and adjusted underlying EBITDA was £156.6m, a 15% rise year-on-year. Operating cashflow improved 27% to £135.8m.

It reported that its volume of ‘retailer forecourts’ was up 2.5% to 13,452 and its average monthly revenue per retailer forecourt was 6% up at £1,252. Full page ad views per month increased 7% to 226.2m.

It said there were a record number of cars advertised on Auto Trader in the year, averaging 423,000.

Auto Trader Group chief executive Trevor Mather said: "The market is moving increasingly online and every year more consumers spend more time researching using the internet. As the UK's largest digital automotive marketplace, we work hard to continually develop our site so consumers get a great experience when they are looking to buy or sell a vehicle.

 "We are equally focused on developing innovative products that add value to our retailer customers, to help them win in the digital marketplace. It is this dual focus that has enabled us to grow both our consumer audience and our retailer customer base, which in turn has helped us to achieve overall revenue growth.

 "The new financial year has started well and in line with the board's expectations. Based upon healthy customer numbers; further revenue improvement from increased product penetration; combined with only modest cost base increases, the board is confident of growth in the coming year."

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