Trade Me: the little website that still can

Half-yearly results for the six-months to 31 December 2008 for the Fairfax organisation have just been released today, and Trade Me remains the jewel in the crown.

Despite the recession (which impacted badly on most of the rest of Fairfax’s businesses) our favourite online auction site saw an increase in revenues of 22.1%. Meanwhile Fairfax’s NZ newspaper and magazine advertising revenues were down 14.6%.

Trade Me contributed earnings* of NZ$38.2 million to the Fairfax coffers — incidentally, meeting (for the second and final year) the revenue targets set when Trade Me was sold to Fairfax in 2006. As a consequence, Sam and the other original investors earned another NZ$45.2 million to add to their $700 million payday for Trade Me. Nice for them, but also good news for Fairfax — Trade Me continues to deliver healthy revenues despite today’s economic conditions.

One other point to note from today’s announcement: Trade Me’s NZ$38.2 million compares more than favourably to the $70.2 million earnings* contribution from the 80 newspapers and 25 magazine/guide publications from Fairfax New Zealand. This web lark seems to be quite promising after all!

*Strictly, EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax and depreciation allowance) — but we know you prefer plain English in your financial reporting.

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