Auto Trader delivers strong half year results
The UK’s largest automotive marketplace boasts an audience four times larger than nearest competitor
Despite a backdrop of market uncertainty, Auto Trader’s half year financial results for the six months ended 30th September, revealed a 7% increase in revenue (£176.8m) and 10% in operating profit (£120.6m). The Company attributes the performance to the strong uptake in a range of new products launched over the past 18 months. This includes Dealer Finance, introduced in December 2017, which has since seen circa 5,000 car retailers take-up the product; three out of four cars on Auto Trader can now be searched by monthly payment.
Over the period Auto Trader has further cemented its position as the UK’s number one destination for both new and used cars. With 55 million multi-platform visits per month, Auto Trader represents circa 55% of the UK classifieds market; four times larger than its closest competitor, Gumtree Motors, and 18 times larger than Motors.co.uk.
In terms of audience engagement, advert views increased to an average of 247 million per month, which equates to 94 cars being viewed every second throughout the first six months of the year. Another key performance metric for the Company is the total minutes consumers spend on its marketplace. In September 2018, potential car buyers spent an average of 588 million minutes on Auto Trader, which is five times longer than on Gumtree Motors.
Auto Trader’s Chief Executive Officer, Trevor Mather, commented: “We have had a great first half of the year driven by strong adoption of new products and advertising packages by both retailers and manufacturers.
"We strengthened our market leading position with our audience of car buyers, by continuing to focus on providing the best car buying and selling experience in the UK. We do this by providing the best choice of cars, free valuations, extensive reviews and most recently showing finance options, so that car buyers can understand the monthly cost of owning their next vehicle.
"Despite a more challenging automotive market, we see many examples of our customers achieving strong results in their used car businesses by using Auto Trader services which help them to select, price and most effectively advertise their vehicles."
Testament to the success of its new car proposition, Auto Trader’s Manufacturer & Agency team recorded a 28% increase in revenue. The growth is due to uptake of its cross platform native performance product, InSearch, which provides high volume, cost effective and highly targeted advertising to influence in-market new car buyers.
The growth of this core part of the Auto Trader business, is confirmation it has become a vital partner to automotive manufacturers; enabling them to effectively market their new cars to the UK’s largest audience of engaged new and used car buyers.
 Comscore MMX® Multi-Platform, Total Audience, Auto Trader, Average of Total Visits from Apr- Sept 2018, U.K.
 Share of visits is a custom metric based on Comscore visits (000) and is calculated by dividing Auto Trader’s total visit volume by the entire custom-defined competitive set’s total visit volume. Comscore MMX® Multi-Platform, Total Audience, Custom-defined list includes: Auto Trader, Gumtree - Motors, Pistonheads, Motors.co.uk & CarGurus, April through September from 2016 to 2018, UK
 Company measure of the number of inspections of individual vehicle advertisements on the UK marketplace for both physical and virtual stock.
 Comscore MMX® Multi-Platform, Total Audience, Auto Trader, Average of Total Minutes from Apr- Sept 2018, U.K.