22 Aug 2012

Trade Me shares fall despite higher than forecast profit

7:36 pm on 22 August 2012

Shares in the online auction site Trade Me fell 10 cents on Wednesday despite its full year profit rising 10% above what was forecast when it was listed on Australasian stock markets late 2011.

The company, which is half-owned by Fairfax Media, made $75.6 million in the year to June.

Trade Me, which sells goods, cars and properties and advertises jobs, has continued to lift earnings.

Underlying earnings rose 11% to $110 million despite what the company says has been variable economic conditions, which meant income from its advertising arm did not grow as much as anticipated.

More people bought goods at the buy now price, while more used mobile devices to buy and sell.

Trade Me is also benefiting from advertising, moving away from traditional areas such as newspapers to online.

Trade Me says it is on track to meets its December 2012 target of a $68.5 million profit.

It has also bought Tradevine - a cloud-based tool which allows sellers to manage sales, inventory and listings.

Shares fall

Trade Me's shares fell 10 cents to $3.87 on Wednesday.

Trade Me chief executive Jon Macdonald says share prices in the company have had a strong run since it was floated and it has no control over what investors do.

He says a small amount of profit taking is not surprising.

Mr Macdonald says even though the company has been very clear about its forecasts and has hit all of those forecasts some investors may have had expectations beyond that.