20 Feb 2014

Trade Me reports small profit rise

1:55 pm on 20 February 2014

Trade Me's shares dropped as much as 9% after the company reported a small rise in first-half net profit.

Trade Me screen shot

Photo: RNZ

A jump in expenses and flat sales in its biggest business were factors.

The online auction website reported a rise of nearly 2% in net profit to $38 million for the six months to December, compared with $37.3 million last year.

Sales grew 7% to nearly $86 million, with the site's classifieds business experiencing 17% higher sales.

However, sales in the main second-hand auction business were flat and the company says it's making efforts to restore growth in that part of its operations.

Expenses rose 19% to more than $25 million, largely due to the company hiring about 50 more people as well as extra marketing costs.

Trade Me will pay a first-half dividend of 7.6c a share, fractionally higher than last year.