Realestate.com.au appoints new chief, Wotif profit soars

REA Group, owner of the realestate.com.au classifieds site, has appointed Miscrosoft Asia executive Greg Ellis as its new chief executive.

REA Group, owner of the realestate.com.au classifieds site, has appointed Miscrosoft Asia executive Greg Ellis as its new chief executive.

The company sacked former chief executive and major shareholder Simon Baker on 4 August, claiming the company needed a leader with more international experience for its next growth phase.

Ellis, who is currently marketing director of online services for Microsoft in Asia, will take on the new role on Monday, 8 September.

REA chairman Richard Freudenstein says Ellis will bring a new international focus to the company.

“Greg has the online and international experience necessary to grow the business from where it is today to an even larger and more successful future. This is excellent news for the real estate agents whom we help succeed and to the consumers who rely on our websites.”

Ellis walks into a company that is travelling pretty well. This morning the company announced its results for 2007-08, posting a 45% increase in revenue to $155.6 million and a 48% increase in net profit to $22.3 million.

Australia remains the company’s main market, contributing about 78% of group revenue. Ellis’s challenge will be to boost the contribution of REA’s offshore operations.

Online travel company Wotif continued the stellar run of internet companies during reporting season, posting a 31% increase in net profit for 2007-08 to $34.5 million.

While the credit crunch, higher fuel prices and falling consumer sentiment have buffeted the travel sector, it seems those people who are travelling are tending to seek out discount offerings like those sold on Wotif.

Wotif.com’s managing director Robbie Cooke says: “This strong result is especially pleasing given the more challenging economic climate experienced in the year. The result goes some way to demonstrating the resilience of our business model and the benefits we offer customers and suppliers alike in tougher times.”

The company did not give a specific profit forecast for 2008-09 but good sales in July and August indicated it should replicate this year’s good performance.

Read more on realestate.com.au and wotif.com.au

 

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