April 4, 2018 / 2:44 PM / in 10 months

SoftBank-backed Auto1 lifts 2017 sales by 47 percent via new markets

BERLIN (Reuters) - German used-car dealing platform Auto1 Group, recently backed by Japan’s SoftBank (9984.T), increased sales by 47 percent last year as it expanded into eight new European markets, bringing the total to 30 countries.

The 460 million euro investment by SoftBank’s Vision Fund in January had ruled out the need for Berlin-based Auto1 to consider a stock market listing to drive further growth and valued it at 2.9 billion euros ($3.6 billion).

Auto1, whose platform model is designed to makes it easy for dealers and customers to trade across borders, said in a statement that its sales hit 2.2 billion euros in 2017, up from 1.5 billion the year before.

The company traded more than 420,000 used vehicles via its platforms Auto1.com, wirkaufendeinauto.de and Autohero, an increase of 40 percent from a year earlier. Most were privately owned vehicles sold to dealers.

Co-founder Christian Bertermann declined to say whether Auto1 was profitable, nor did he give any forecasts for this year, but told Reuters the company was looking to enter the few remaining European markets where it is not yet present.

“We will continue to work on making selling and buying used vehicles easier, more transparent and more trustworthy,” Bertermann said on Wednesday.

Reporting by Nadine Schimroszik; Writing by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Alexander Smith

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