By Stuart Condie
SYDNEY--REA Group Ltd.'s quarterly revenue dropped after Melbourne's coronavirus lockdown stymied activity in Australia's second-largest city, and the real estate advertiser has deferred all fiscal 2021 price rises due to the uncertain outlook.
The Australia-listed group on Friday said revenue excluding broker commissions for the three months through September fell to 195.7 million Australian dollars (US$140.5 million), compared with A$202.3 million a year earlier.
Earnings before interest, tax, amortization and depreciation rose by 8% to A$123.8 million after operating expenses fell to A$71.9 million, down 18% on fiscal 2020's first quarter.
REA said Australian residential revenue rose in the quarter, but that commercial and developer revenue declined. The group cited lower commercial listing volumes in Melbourne, as well as moratoriums on tenant evictions elsewhere.
October national residential listings were down 1% despite increases in Melbourne and Sydney, REA said. It said there were strong levels of buyer enquiry amid low interest rates and healthy bank liquidity, but the uncertain outlook meant it would not raise prices until July.
"Our customers have not fully recovered from the impact of Covid-19 this year and the outlook for the property market is not clear," Chief Executive Owen Wilson said.
REA is 62% owned by News Corp., which also owns Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires