UPDATE 1-Domain Holdings Australia’s H1 residential revenue rises as market cools


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(Adds background, dividend forecast, residential market)

Feb 15 (Reuters) – Property classifieds platform Domain Holdings Australia on Friday clocked strong growth in its first-half revenue from its residential properties listings business, amid a slump in Australia’s once booming property market.

Revenue from its residential segment, its biggest earning unit, rose 8.6 percent to A$93.6 million ($66.50 million)for the six months ending Dec. 30.

Tighter lending, higher taxes on foreigners and an apartment glut have driven the steepest price drops in a generation in Australia and pushed listings lower, especially in Sydney where Domain is a large player.

Amid the bleak real-estate environment, Domain said that while it faced “weakness in Sydney”, it countered an overall drop in listing volumes by increasing pricing and sales of its premium products.

Domain’s underlying net profit, which excludes one-time charges, came in at A$21.1 million for the first half, down 14.2 percent compared with net profit of A$24.7 million last year.

Weighing on results, half-year revenue for its print business fell about 23.6 percent due to weakness in residential listings particularly in its Sydney and Melbourne markets.

The company posted a statutory net loss of A$156.4 million for the first-half due to impairment of its Domain Digital GCU arm and other one off restructuring charges, sharply widening from the loss of A$3.4 million it posted last year.

Domain, which had been the most profitable unit of publisher Fairfax Media Ltd and is now majority-owned by Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd, announced an interim dividend of 2 cents per share, down from 4 cents per share a year ago.

The drop in dividend was due to Domain incurring non-cash impairments, but said it expected to pay a higher dividend in the second-half of at least 4 cents per share. ($1 = 1.4075 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok and Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom Brown and Marguerita Choy)


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