iCar Asia’s annual results are out, and the company says 2019 is the year its Asian-based used car business will break even.

iCar Asia (ASX: ICQ) touted its top-line revenue results, which increased by 27% to $11.6 million.

After-tax losses increased slightly to $13.606 million, although $2.64m of foreign exchange gains pegged the net loss back to $10.928m.

Investors were relatively happy with the result, sending the stock up nine per cent in morning trade to 12 cents per share.

Hitting the road

iCar Asia operates website marketplaces for second-hand car sales in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

“We operate in the three largest markets in south-east Asia, and collectively we reach about 12 million end-users,” CEO Hamish Stone told Stockhead.

“The core of our business model is a fee which gives customers access to list their product on the site. They can also pay more to make their listing more prominent.”

The company’s stock price has come off its March 2018 high of 30 cents, when investors were excited that its early foothold in the Asian market had the capacity to be a significant money spinner.

In annual terms, the company reported growth in cash receipts of a healthy 46 per cent. But on a quarterly basis that torrid pace of growth slowed towards the end of last year.

Q4 cash receipts of $3 million represented a 5.5 per cent fall from September, and the company still had $2.5 million in operating outflows.

The company’s cash flow structure looks sound though with around $9.5 million in the bank, and a further untapped loan facility of $5 million.

It also raised $10 million in late 2017, via a share issuance priced at 18 cents.

Two out of three ain’t bad

The key milestone highlighted by the business this year was that operations in two jurisdictions had positive EBITDA for the first time.

Malaysia hit the milestone in September and just had its first full quarter of positive EBITDA, while Thailand turned positive in December.

Indonesian operations lost $3.4m in the 2018 year, but the company was optimistic about its trend revenue growth of 58 per cent.

“The Indonesian business moved further through its monetisation strategy, with strong growth in the number of dealers paying for advertising products on the site and the introduction of listing fee subscriptions in September 2018,” the company said.