Info Edge’s recruitment segment had billings of Rs 216.3 crore during the March quarter (Q4FY18). This was an increase of 9.2% year-on-year (YoY) as compared to Rs 198 crore in the same quarter last year. However, the recruitment revenue was at Rs 175.2 crore, a growth of 7.4% (YoY). In the full-year (FY 2018), recruitment billings grew 12% to Rs 708 crore while revenue grew 12% to Rs 64 crore.

Hitesh Oberoi, Managing Director & CEO said that the slowdown in IT hiring continued to impact growth rate for Naukri. He added that in the IT segment, new customer acquisition, as well as customer retention remained a challenge; as a result, the net customer numbers in IT remains flat for the year.

In terms of retention in billing, the IT as a sector (including captive, BPO, CRM, IT startup etc.) did better than other large sectors for Naukri aided by – upgrade by existing clients; BPO, CRM, and captive segments did better as compared to the software services company. The non-IT segment partly compensated for the lower billing growth in IT. Banking and financial services, retail, manufacturing has been other small sectors did well for the company in terms of overall billing growth. The consultant sector was also impacted because of slowness in IT hiring and hence did not fare very well in terms of billing growth.

Answering an analyst’s question, Oberoi said that markets like Bangalore, Chennai, and Hyderabad were impacted due to the IT slowdown. “Bangalore was our worst performing market last year. On the other hand, we saw reasonably good growth in markets like Bombay and Delhi, which was in predominantly non-IT markets, so partly the losses in IT were made up for by the average growth in non-IT.”

Naukri’s operational numbers

  • In Q4 Naukri added an average of 16,500 fresh CVs every day vs 16000 last year
  • The Naukri database grew to around 57 million CVs, vs 51 million last year
  • The number of CV modifications stood at 330,000 per day vs 245000 per day last year.

On 99acres

In 99acres, billing grew 43% Y-o-Y in Q4 FY18 to Rs 56.2 crore while revenue grew 36% Y-o-Y to Rs 37.3 crore. Oberoi said, “Our traffic share amongst the real estate portals moved to a higher 51% during the quarter based on time spend on the web and now we have traffic leadership in all major markets, which was partly aided by marketing campaigns during the year.” Last quarter the traffic share was about 40%

Also, the company increased marketing spends during the quarter resulting in a Q4 EBITDA level loss of about Rs 13.5 crore as compared to a loss of Rs 11.3 crore last year. Oberoi added that Info Edge will focus on investing in marketing for 99acres moving into FY ‘19 as it is trying to consolidate its position in the real estate classified business.

Daily sessions on the 99acres platform have improved 58% year-on-year as of March. The app daily sessions have seen a strong jump of 135% over the same period.

On Jeevansathi

In Jeevansathi business, billings remained flat at Rs 17.9 crore, crores owing to oppressive pricing and activities by competition during the quarter, said Oberoi in the call. However, revenue from the segment grew 10% at Rs 17 crore. Operating EBITDA losses in Jeevansathi increased to Rs 11.5 crore in Q4 FY18 from Rs 3.5 crore in Q4 FY ‘17. Overall registration in Q4 grew over 35% year-on-year. For full FY 2018, the billing grew 15% and revenue grew 18% year-on-year to Rs 70 crore and Rs 69 crore, respectively. Oberoi said that more than 90% of the users accessed Jeevansathi from mobile.

On Shiksha

Oberoi said that that company made decent profits post revamping the site earlier this year. In Shiksha business, billings grew 6.7% y-o-y to Rs 14 crore while net sales grew 12% y-o-y and reached Rs 11.2 crore. In this segment, Info Edge reported EBITDA profit of Rs 42 lakh as compared to Rs 87 lakh in the same quarter last year. For FY 2018, Shiksha’s profit stood at Rs 2.2 crore as compared to a loss of Rs 4.1 crore in FY 2017.

On Zomato

In the call, Oberoi said that  Zomato deal concluded during the current quarter (Q1FY19) and it received the proceeds of it secondary sales to AliPay. In  February, Alibaba’s Ant Financial bought 6.66% stake (around 32,629 shares) of Zomato from Info Edge for $50 million, and with the deal Info Edge’s stake has reduced to 30.91% (on a fully converted and diluted basis), from 44.74% prior to the sale.

On analysts’ questions about Zomato’s expansion and competition in the market, Oberoi said that  Zomato is expanding aggressively on the delivery side of the business and the orders are increasing rapidly. In terms of competition with Swiggy, Oberoi added, “suffice to say that the gap is being narrowed between Swiggy and Zomato on food delivery in terms of the number of orders every day, but having said that there is still a gap. Now, as Zomato expands its delivery volume, the average order value is coming down as expected, but it is still higher than Swiggy as per our estimate, we do not know Swiggy’s order value definitely, but we estimate still high.”

Investment focus

During FY 2017- 2018, Info Edge made investments in four new startups, Wishbook, which is a B2B cataloguing app and marketplace connecting manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, and sellers. Univariety, a career and university admission counselling platform for class 9 to 12 students.
NoPaperForms which is a SaaS-based solution for educational institutions, and, Gramophone which serves Agri and commerce and crop advisory for farmers. It also did follow-on rounds of investments in Policybazaar, Happily Unmarried, Meritnation, and Canvera.

Oberoi said that Info Edge will continue to invest more in this business; mainly in areas like product development and machine learning to improve its matching algorithms and the mobile user experience.

Download: Call Transcript