Domain earnings update reports revenue slump as property downturn bites

Majority Nine-owned Domain has reported a 6% slump in revenues in a market update released this morning.

The fall, announced as Nine revealed the sale of its community newspapers to former Domain CEO Antony Catalano, comes on the back of a 13% decline in residential sale listings during the March quarter.

Domain CEO Jason Pellegrino, said agent upselling and enhanced consumer products were offsetting the decline in listing volumes.

The results reflect Domain’s performance across the first three months of calendar year 2019, in which auction volumes in Sydney fell 30%, and declined by 36% in Melbourne.

Domain’s announcement follows the company reporting a first-half loss for the 2019 financial year, however  CEO Jason Pellegrino put a brave face on the decline, saying: “Notwithstanding current lower listings volumes, we are achieving strong momentum in yield through increased agent coverage – that is, the number of agents taking a depth ‘all’ product; increased premium product upsell; and price increases based on additional value delivered through audience.”

Pellegrino flagged Domain was using its data capabilities as part of its offerings to agents.

Despite the listings falls, the company reported double-digit growth in residential digital yield with Pellegrino citing growth areas in the Consumer Connections business which brokers home loans and insurance along with managing customers’ utilities connections.

At the beginning of this month, Domain recruited Avnu’s Jason Chuck as chief customer officer, largely taking over the functions of former chief marketing officer, Melina Cruickshank, who defected to rival News Corp-owned REA Group last December.

Pellegrino also flagged further integration with Nine.

“Our relationship with Nine provides unparalleled opportunity to expand Domain’s reach and engagement. We have several initiatives underway,” he said.

“Extending the Domain platform on Nine includes promoting Domain brands and reinforcing Domain’s property expertise through Nine TV and digital assets.

“Deepening the Domain brand and content integration with Nine includes a new Your Domain TV show and other TV integrations including our highly successful collaboration on The Block.

“Leveraging the unique audience scale of Domain and Nine and combined audience and data includes tapping Nine’s incredible national TV audience and large digital audience, the majority of which do not currently use Domain. Unifying Domain and Nine’s authenticated data provides rich and deep insights into audience behaviours and opportunities.”

Nine’s Your Money joint venture with News Corp earlier this month shuttered its digital operations with traffic being redirected to News’ sites.


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