Trade Me Group (ASX:TME)

Jon MacDonald
Interim CEO
Market Cap (AUD): 2.41B
Sector: Consumer Discretionary
Last Trade (AUD): 0 +0 (+0%)
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1. About

Trade Me is the leading online marketplace and classified advertising platform in New Zealand. Trade Me includes auctions and fixed-priced sales for new and used goods, with automotive, real estate and employment businesses. The Company has web businesses specialising in accommodation and online dating. Trade Me Group Limited was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Wellington, New Zealand.

Its segments include General Items, Classifieds and Other. The General Items segment is its online marketplace business. The Classifieds segment represents advertising revenue from each of its three classified advertising sites: Motors, Property, and Jobs. Its revenue is generated from basic and premium listing fees. The Other segment reflects all other businesses, including advertising, travel, dating, life, and health insurance comparison and general insurance.

2. Business model


The Group operates the following divisions:[1]



Revenue ($’000)

% of Revenue

% of Profit (before Int, Tax, Depn & Amort)

Profit drivers[2]





  • The classifieds’ segment revenue up 12.3% on F17 to $141.0 M
  • Its largest classified business continues to be the market leader with a revenue increase of 12.7 % year on-year (up on F17’s 8.2 %). Strong dealer depth product revenue growth has continued in F18, up 41.0 % year-on-year
  • Continues to perform very strongly with revenue increasing by 14.1 % year-on-year. The team has been doing a superb job, and continue to focus on delivering benefits for customers. The revenue increase was driven by a 34.3 % increase in depth product sales
  • Trade Me Property reported revenue growth of 10.2 % year-on-year. ‘For sale’ listing volumes continue to be challenging, in a tight property market. Revenue from depth products sold to ‘for sale’ agency clients was up 38.2 % year-on-year, helped by the launch of its new Premium listing product

General Items




  • The General Items segment revenue was up 1.3% year-on-year, following on from revenue growth of 7.1% between F16 and F17
  • In F18, the company continued to focus on making the buying and selling process faster and easier
  • The company introduced Afterpay for new goods segment in September 2017, allowing sellers to offer interest-free instalment payments to buyers. Buyers get their goods immediately and then pay the item off in four instalments. Afterpay is now available on approximately 3 M new items on Trade Me





  • In the Other category comprising company advertising, dating, insurance and payments businesses, revenue was down 2.3% year-on-year. This decline is largely due to the divestment of travel businesses at the end of 2017

3. Strategy


Key strategies include:[3]


  • More deeply ingrained in Kiwis’ lives through lovable online experiences
  • Know our customers more intimately than any competitor and provide a relevant, engaging and personalised experience
  • Be quick experimenters, expert in growing new things
  • A brand that outshines all others in NZ as the most loved and trusted
  • The workplace of choice – a magnet for top local and offshore talent


Strengthening core proposition

  • The group existing customers and existing markets

Expanding offers

  • Adding new products or services for its existing customers to enter adjacent markets

Growing ecosystem

  • New offerings to new and existing customers to fuel long-term growth

4. Markets


The Company operates in the following markets:[4]


Industry (Australia)

Industry Revenue (2018)

Growth Rate (annual 13-18)

Advertising Agencies

$3 billion


Internet Hosting Services

$528 million


Dating Services

$112 million


5. Competition


Major competitors include:[5]


  • Smartpay Holdings Ltd (ASX: SMP)
  • CyberAgent, Inc. (TYO: 4751)
  • JcbNext Bhd (KLSE: JCBNEXT)
  • Sli Systems Ltd (NZE: SLI)

6. History



Trade Me established by Sam Morgan



Success fees introduced



FindSomeone launched



OldFriends launched



Trade Me Motors launched

100,000 concurrent listings achieved

Staff count: 100



NZ's fastest-growing company in 'Deloitte Fast 50'  



Trade Me Property launched



Trade Me Jobs launched

#1 most viewed auction: Hurricanes handbag & cell phone



Travel Bug launched

Pay Now launched

1 billion page impressions/month



1 million concurrent listings achieved



Acquisition of Holiday Houses

Popular auction: Roofless the Toyota Townace Interisland van



Trade Me daily deals launched

Acquisition of Book It

iPhone app launched



Treat Me launched

1 million members logging in each month

Staff count: 200



Trade Me listed as a public company

Popular auction: Radio Network building implosion

Acquisition of Holiday Homes, AutoBase and Tradevine

Trade Me made it into the NZX 50 Index



Treat Me sold

Daily deals finished

Acquisition of Life Direct and Motorweb



Trade Me acquired stake in peer-to-peer lender Harmoney



Old Friends closed

Book a courier launched



Safetrader closed

Launched Buyer Protection



Trade Me's acquisition of Motorcentral declined by Commerce Commission

7. Team


Board of Directors[7]


David Kirk – Independent, non-executive chairman

Katrina Johnson – Independent, non-executive director

Paul McCarney – Independent, non-executive director

Joanna Perry – Independent, non-executive director

Simon West – Independent Director (appointed 15 December 2016)


Management Team


Jon Macdonald – Interim Chief Executive Officer[8]

Caroline Rawlinson – Chief Financial Officer

Annie Brown – Chief People Officer

Nigel Jeffries – Head of Trade Me Property

Trent Mankelow – Chief Customer Officer

Stuart McLean – Head of Marketplace

Mark Rees – Chief Product and Technology Officer

Alan Clark – Head of Motors

Jeremy Wade – Head of Jobs

read more

8. Financials


2018 Full Year Results Presentation


Financial Year 2017/2018 (ended 30 June):[9]



Revenue ($’000)

% Change

Profit (before Int, Tax, Depn & Amort) ($’000)

% Change






General Items















9. Risk


Major risks include:[10]


Privacy and data security issues

Trade Me is dependent on the technology systems, servers, networks, hardware and software, including cloud services, that it has in place. The systems could be vulnerable to unauthorised access, viruses, human error, natural disasters, communications failure, sabotage or terrorism. To defend against those risks the Group has implemented extensive security measures, disaster recovery, systems redundancy, and backup procedures.


Health and safety risk

Trade Me is a relatively low-risk, office-based business – its most common risk is trips or falls in the office or during work team sports. Lost-time injury in the business has historically been a very rare occurrence. Trade Me Group Ltd conscious thought that stress may affect some employees and its provide access to a free, entirely confidential counselling service outside Trade Me.


GHG emissions and energy consumption

The majority of the Company’s impact arises from energy consumption in its offices and data centres, and emissions from travel. As employee numbers have grown, offices have grown. More travel has been required between New Zealand and the markets where suppliers are based, between the Company’s offices in Wellington, Christchurch, and Auckland, and locally to maintain communication with key customers. The Group controls travel requests to ensure its use video conferencing effectively rather than travelling, and overseas travel is very limited. As a technology business, the Company uses very low amounts of paper and toner, and the Company has been working with its landlords and energy consultants to improve the efficiency of office power consumption, and produce very little waste.


Cash and cash equivalents

Cash and cash equivalents comprise cash at bank and in hand and short-term deposits with an original maturity of three months or less that are readily convertible to known amounts of cash and which are subject to an insignificant risk of changes in value.


Market risk

Interest rate risk

The Group’s primary interest rate risk arises from bank borrowings which are reset every 90 days to market rates. The Group’s treasury policy requires the use of derivative financial instruments to manage interest rate risk. In order to protect against rising interest rates the Group has entered into interest rate swap contracts under which it has a right to receive interest at floating rates and pay interest at fixed rates, where cumulative net settlement of interest is payable or receivable quarterly.


Credit risk

Exposure to credit risk arises from the potential default of the counterparty, with the maximum exposure equal to the carrying amount of the financial assets. The Group’s credit risk arises from the Group’s financial assets, which include cash and cash equivalents, loans and trade and other receivables.


Liquidity risk

Liquidity risk arises from the financial liabilities of the Group and the Group’s subsequent ability to meet its obligation to repay its financial liabilities as and when they fall due.