23 Feb 2012

Trade Me wants to increase new products on its site

7:00 am on 23 February 2012

Trade Me wants to grow the number of retailers selling new products on its site, as well as tap into the increasing number of people shopping from their smartphones.

In its first half year results since listing on the stock exchange in December, the firm reported a net profit of $36.4 million - 5% more than in the same time a year earlier.

Revenue rose 13% to almost $70 million.

Most parts of Trade Me's business grew, with its classified arm stronger than expected, its online dating and travel businesses exceeding expectations, and its core auction website performing in-line with forecasts.

Chief executive Jon Macdonald says new products currently make up about 40% of all items sold on the auction site, and he expects that to grow to about 50% in coming years, as it brings on more retailers.

He says consumers are waking up to the good deals to be had online, people are increasingly comfortable with researching and purchasing online and a strong New Zealand dollar has helped.

Mr Macdonald expects the trading environment to remain challenging, but passable, in the next year.

He says the company wants to try to capitalise further on the growing use of smartphones.

Mr Macdonald says mobile activity has increased substantially in the last year and it's expected the trend will continue.

Shares in Trade Me fell 2 cents to $3.14 on Wednesday, but the stock has gained more than 15% since December's listing.