Rent.com.au cuts losses by nearly $6m, says big rivals operate ‘defensively’
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Rental website Rent.com.au has boosted full-year revenue by 41 per cent and cut its losses by nearly $6 million.
The minnow turned over $2.3 million in revenue in 2018 — up from $1.7 million the year prior, and slashed the full-year loss from $8.5 million to $2.8 million.
Rent’s (ASX:RNT) shares were down slightly on the news, dropping four per cent to 7c.
Chief Greg Bader said they had missed their FY18 breakeven target but told Stockhead all indicators were they were moving “in the right direction”.
“We were close. We indicated to market that it would be June 30 and we missed by our marketing spend, which is something we continue to look at,” Bader said.
“We’re on the right path. And it’s a tough ask in a market that’s dominated by the big guys.
“But the fact that we had our 12th consecutive quarter of revenue growth, and that more renters are taking up our rental products — we’re on track to hit 350,000 Renter Resumes this week — shows that people are supporting us.
“And so while we’ve still got some work to do I’m pleased that we’re adding value to people. It’s more than just trying to make money.
“We have to do something different because we’re operating against giants.
“That’s why we’re working with the Victorian Government on their proposed tenancy law changes, why we’re coming up with innovative products like allowing renters to search by lifestyle for the first time.
“The other big portals operate from quite a defensive posture and they have no motivation to innovate.
“Whereas we started at zero and we’re appreciative of every single person who uses our site and that drives us to continue innovating.”
Mr Bader is referring to listed real estate behemoths Real Estate (ASX:REA) and Domain (ASX:DHG).
News Corp-backed REA increased full-year profit by about $50 million while Fairfax’s Domain fell 120 per cent to a $2.7 million loss after write-downs. Listed agency McGrath this morning reported a whopping $63.1 million loss.
The company has a number of products aimed at renters, from bond financing to contents insurance, as well as an online renting CV. The average revenue that each user brings in has grown 83 per cent year-on-year, to $6.86.
“We’re starting to grow from our customers, which is really pleasing,” Bader said.