Seek hit by COVID-19 but looks to long term recovery
- Revenue down 9 per cent
- Large market exposure of 2.9 billion
- Guidance banks upon assumptions around COVID-19
During FY20, SEK has taken the opportunity to position itself towards long term goals which includes creating shareholder value. AUD8 million in COVID-19 government subsidies has helped the company across Australia, New Zealand (ANZ), and South-East Asia. Additionally, discretionary costs have been managed tightly to support the company whilst investment in future strategic growth areas have continued.
Macroeconomic conditions have been the main hindrance in growth, and there has been a reported net profit after tax loss of AUD111.7 million. Non-reoccurring significant items including impairment charges came to AUD198.4 million. COVID-19 has had a massive impact on many industries during FY20 and job searching has been impacted. As a result, SEK has seen a 9 per cent drop in revenue, compared to a 3 per cent growth in FY19.
Currently, Seek holds a large market exposure to around 2.9 billion people and 27 per cent of GDP exposure. This translates into around 45 million candidates in Asia Pacific and Americas (AP&A), 200 thousand hirers and 1.2 billion site visits per annum which provides an effective vehicle towards long term positioning.
Year to date (YTD) up to October 20, Group revenue is above the expectations given the current macroeconomic conditions. Seek ANZ, Online Education Services (OES) and Zhaopin have all performed well, with Seek Asia trailing behind slightly.
FY21 Guidance has been updated with the disclaimer that due to current conditions in the market concerning COVID-19, including FX rates, business confidence and restriction, it is difficult to forecast accurately.
The forecasts for FY21 are informed by the assumptions that the COVID-19 restrictions will remain consistent with current levels. It is assumed that hiring levels will stay a reasonable level for the remainder of FY21, whilst acknowledging traditional seasonal fluctuations. Finally, SEK assumes investments will increase due to stronger than expected revenue performance.
Given these assumptions, the FY21 guidance for revenue is to come in around AUD1,600 million. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) is expected to amount to AUD400 million. Investments in Early Stage Ventures (ESV) are expected to hinder the business by around AUD55 million. NPAT should offset this with expectations coming in around AUD50 million.
There is a general sentiment that in the near term, SEEK will experience challenging circumstances, yet in the long-term investments and current repositioning should pay off in a multitude of ways. Nevertheless, market position, long term revenue generation and investments are expected to recover well.
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