The growth in revenues for its matrimonial portal Jeevansathi and real estate portal 99 Acres brought some cheer for Info Edge India, in a year (2008-09) that CEO Sanjeev Bikhchandani has told investors was “the worst year that we have seen in the history of your Company.”
Given the economic slowdown, the company found that custmers were moving from higher value subscriptions to lower value subscriptions, and buying lower volumes. In some cases, discounts had to be extended. The company focused on re-orienting sales, and using tele-calling more. They reduced promotional activities, but focused on increasing market penetration, and try to get customers to use more of their services, in order to gain market share.
We went through Info Edge’s 2008-09 Annual Report (pdf), for performance indicators. The company has also released revenue figures for Jeevansathi.com and 99Acres.com, among others:
With a reduction in growth of India’s GDP from 9 percent in 2007-08 to 6.7 percent in 2008-09, the job market and real estate segments witnessed a decline. The company, however, posted a 12.3 percent increase in net sales to Rs. 2,457.99 million in 2008-09, and an EBITDA growth of only 1.6 percent to Rs. 644.85 million. Profit after tax (PAT) grew to 2.8 percent to Rs.570.28 million in 2008-09.
Naukri & Quadrangle
Naukri.com’s EBIDTA margin grew from 44.3 percent in 2007-08 to 46.7 percent in 2008-09, contributing to a growth in EBIDTA margins for the recruitment solutions from 41.6 percent in 2007-08 to 43.5 percent in 2008-09.
The Naukri Candidate Services revenues grew 31 percent year on year, while those from Naukri Recruitment Solutions grew by 6.6 percent. The former targets job applicants, and is likely to have a lower revenue base, as compared Recruitment Solutions which targets corporates and consultants, which is likely to have a higher revenue base.
Year on Year, the number of corporate customers grew by 5 percent – from around 32,500 in 2007-08 to approximately 34,000 in 2008-09, while the number of resumes in naukri.com’s database increased by 31 percent – from around 13 million at the end of FY08 to to around 17 million at the end of FY09. The number of resumes added daily increased by 17 percent – from 12,000 in 2007-08 to 14,000 in 2008-09.
Info Edge’s matrimonial business reported an EBIDTA loss of Rs. 46.9 million, though Net Sales for the segment increased by 31 percent to Rs 170.1 million in 2008-09. Info Edge suggests that they expect the business to break even by the end of the 2009-10 fiscal. Profiles “ever loaded” increased from 2.14 million at the end of 2007-08 to 2.9 million at the end of 2008-09, but frankly, that number carries little relevance: it’s not like a resume database, and we think it’s highly unlikely that a majority of the profiles that were active in 2005 would still be active in 2009. A more meaningful performance indicator is perhaps new profiles added during the year – as compared to 2007-08, when Jeevansathi added 800,000 new profiles, in 2008-09, the matrimonial portal added 760,000 profiles. Thats a marginal decline in performance.
On a more positive note, number of unique paying customers on Jeevansathi increased to 80,005, from 73,552 in 2007-08. Average realization increased from Rs. 1711 per paying customer in 2007-08 to Rs. 1994 in 2008-09.
The online business is being supplemented by 14 offline centres called ‘Jeevansathi Match Points’. These centres provide hand-holding services to customers who are not internet savvy, helping them to utilise jeevansathi.com online services. As of today, these centres are a pilot.
99Acres and All Check Deals
The companys property based online classifieds business 99 Acres reported a 54 percent growth in Net Sales to Rs.139 million in 2008-09, though it incurred an EBITDA loss of Rs. 95.3 million, down from Rs. 108.5 million in 2007-08. Total number of listings grew to 248,000 in FY09, as compared to 200,000 in FY08.
More importantly, the number of paid transactions rose from around 7,500 in 2007-08 to 16,600 in 2008-09. Info Edge’s property broking business AllCheckDeals business closed 645 deals in 2008-09. The company is focusing on training its sales team to help brokers adapt to the online medium.
Applect Learning Systems Private Limited: Info Edge has committed to investing Rs. 65 million in tranches for a 40 percent stake in Applect, which runs the education website Meritnation.com, which delivers assessment based learning solutions for classes 6th to 12th. So far, the company had invested Rs.29.6 million of this amount as of 31 March 2009, and held 26.17 percent.
Etechaces Marketing & Consulting: Info Edge has committed to invest Rs.200 million in tranches for a 49% stake in Etechaces, which runs the site Policybazaar.com. Policybazaar provides insurance comparison to customers. Of the planned amount, Info Edge had invested Rs. 50 million as on 31 March 2009.
StudyPlaces: there’s no indication of how much stake, or how much Info Edge has invested in StudyPlaces Inc, except that it has a “minority stake”.