July 16, 2020 / 11:01 AM / 22 days ago

Online classifieds firm Adevinta's shares rise as demand rebounds

OSLO (Reuters) - Shares of the online classifieds company Adevinta ADEV.OL jumped on Thursday on a faster-than-expected business recovery, although its second-quarter results took a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Second-quarter earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 26% to 38.7 million euros, excluding joint ventures, but topped the 26.2 million euros expected in a Refinitiv poll.

Adevinta’s Oslo-listed shares were trading up 9% by 1035 GMT.

Revenue at the Norwegian company, whose brands include France’s Leboncoin, Brazil’s OLX and dozens more across Europe, the Americas and North Africa, fell by 16% to 155.8 million euros ($178 million), including joint ventures.

Performance, however, picked up significantly in May and June, the company said.

“While macro uncertainty remains in the near term, we expect the second half of the year to continue on this recovery trend,” it said in a statement.

“Especially after Easter I’d say, people started to come back to our sites,” CEO Rolv Erik Ryssdal told Reuters.

“What recovered first were the generalists, that is, buying and selling of small and big things, and after that we saw that the interest in real estate was coming back, followed by cars,” he said, adding that job sites are still lagging.

Analysts at UBS cited better-than-expected results and expected recovery, especially with France returning back to organic growth in June and improving traffic in Spain, as positive signals for the market.

Spun off from media company Schibsted (SBSTA.OL) last year, Adevinta will continue to be active on the acquisitions front, although the M&A market has slowed down a lot, Ryssdal said.

“We want to grow more in the markets that we are in, and pursue things in adjacent markets, and explore other opportunities,” Ryssdal said.

Reporting by Victoria Klesty and Nerijus Adomaitis; editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman, Larry King

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