Auto Trader returns £117m to shareholders in first half

Shares of Manchester-based FTSE 100 firm Auto Trader Group plc rose about 9% after it announced half year results for the six months ended September 30, 2023.

Auto Trader said group revenue increased 12% to £280.5 million with group profit before tax increasing 10% to £162.8 million.

The firm said £117.1 million was returned to shareholders in the first half (H1 2023: £82.3 million) through £65.8 million of share buybacks and dividends of £51.3 million.

Interim dividend declared was 3.2p (H1 2023: 2.8p).

In its 2024 outlook, Auto Trader said: “The board is confident for the second half of the year. The majority of the group’s revenues are recurring in nature and the major growth event for the year has been successfully delivered in the first half.

“We expect another good year of retailer revenue growth, which is by far the largest part of our Auto Trader business.”

Auto Trader CEO Nathan Coe said: “It has been a strong start to the year with more buyers spending more time and completing more of their car buying journey on Auto Trader.

“We are working in partnership with record numbers of retailers and manufacturers, who are turning to our platform as the most effective and efficient way to source, price and sell their vehicles.

“We remain confident in our long-term prospects given the strength of our business and the opportunities to deliver meaningful value for car buyers, customers, our people and shareholders.”