News Corp’s digital real estate services, which include Move’s realtor.com and Australia-based REA Group, announced its third quarter fiscal year 2018 results Thursday, which boasted $2.10 billion in revenue — a 6 percent increase from the year prior.
The global media company also reported a net loss of $1.1 billion, compared to zero dollars the year prior. Non-cash impairment charges and write-downs were largely responsible for the company’s net loss.
In Q3, digital real estate services grew 27 percent year-over-year, due to product innovation at realtor.com and increased yield from REA. The total segment EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) was $182 million, a $33 million decrease from Q3 2017.
Move revenue increased 15 percent to $115 million, up from $100 million a year ago. Meanwhile, traffic to realtor.com grew 10 percent year-over-year to over 61 million users, half of which came from mobile, the company noted.
Much like Q2 2018, Move chief executive Robert Thomson said much of the company’s growth can be attributed to its digital real estate offerings, which include realtor.com and REA Group.
“The third quarter once again highlighted the strength of our global digital real estate platform,” Thomson said on the call. “The segment posted robust 27 percent growth in revenues, as both REA Group and realtor.com benefited from product innovation and higher yields while becoming more holistic sites for homebuyers and sellers.”
Thompson also announced an upcoming feature on realtor.com called “Realsuite,” which is a mobile-based system that aims to help agents build better ads, faster responsiveness and better leads.
The CEO also briefly mentioned Zillow’s expansion of Instant Offers to include buying and selling homes, putting Zillow in direct competition with iBuyers such as former partner, OfferPad, and Opendoor.
“Understandably, Realtors and brokers are eyeing this update with concern,” Thomson said as he reassured listeners and users that realtor.com will continue to put its user base first — a slight dig at Zillow’s longstanding stance that its not aiming to infringe on agent’s businesses.
Lastly, Thomson said he expects realtor.com to continue to be a “core and increasingly” important part of News Corp’s success — further proof that its acquisition of the company was indeed the right decision.
“That was a significant investment,” Thomson said a month ago during a Deutsche Bank conference.
“Folks in the digital world were rather skeptical about it, but I think it’s fair to say that we turned what was the no. 3 company into a very strong no. 2 and, depending on the quarter, depending on the metric, in some quarters the fastest growing. Obviously we’re in a competition, long term, to be no. 1, but that was what you might call a counter cyclical — if not counter cultural — investment, and the team has proved the naysayers wrong.”