OLX Romania cash positive since last year

14 Oct 2016

Andrei Dusa, head of Naspers Classifieds in Romania, told local magazine Economica.net OLX Romania has been cash positive since last year, and expected to generate a net profit soon.

OLX Romania still ended FY2015 with a net loss of RON23.3 million ($5.6 million U.S.), because of acquisitions and investments into sites such as Tocmai.ro, Autovit.ro and Storia.ro, he said (here).

Tocmai.ro was acquired from Schibsted and merged with OLX.ro early in 2015 (our report), Autovit.ro is an autos site owned by Naspers, and Storia.ro is a real estate vertical launched in Romania a few months ago (our report).

“(In Romania) the company has been in a position to finance itself since last year. Our profitability was, however, affected by charges to do with the amortization of investments. We believe, major investment is nearing completion (in Romania). So, that in coming financial years we will also make a net profit,” said Dusa.

In Romania, the company operating OLX made an accumulated loss of RON74 million in the three financial years 2013, 2014 and 2015. In FY2014 the loss still stood at RON30.9 million, but in FY2015 OLX Romania cut its loss to RON23.3 million, he said.

In the same 3-year period, OLX more than tripled its revenue from RON5.4 million in 2013 to RON19 million in 2015, he added.

Naspers recently celebrated ten years in Romania. The OLX brand has, however, only been present since 2014, when Mercador.ro was rebranded to OLX.ro. The general classifieds site today is the leader in Romania with 10 million unique visitors per month (source: OLX.ro).

Dusa told Economica.net no acquisitions are on the horizon for OLX in Romania, and the team focuses on developing existing projects.

“With the acquisition of Tocmai.ro, the market took another step in the direction of consolidation, which has allowed us to expand our business and bring OLX to a new level, where we now focus on improving service.

“Autovit.ro has grown steadily in recent years, and enables us to make an integrated offer (with OLX) to the auto market. It is a stable business with experience…which adds value to our business. Our latest¬†project has been the launch of the vertical real estate site Storia.ro, a part of our expansion plans,” said Dusa.

OLX operates in about 40 countries around the world. Naspers doesn’t publish numbers for the individual countries, but Romania must be one of the best-performing countries (measured on profitability) at this stage.

Last month, Bob van Dijk, CEO of Naspers, reminded in Bucharest that the approach with OLX worldwide was to invest for long-term expansion and development, and not to make OLX profitable in the short term.

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Christo Volschenk

Christo Volschenk is managing editor of the news on Aimgroup.com and our senior analyst covering Naspers. He brings more than 31 years of experience in business journalism to the team - the last 18 years focused on classifieds and e-commerce. Apart from working closely with the AIM Group, Christo is a freelance journalist, content manager, and copy editor. Before branching out on his own, he spent 15 years with Naspers in South Africa as journalist, economics editor and online project manager. He now spends most his day editing the news reported by 23 colleagues in 23 countries from his base in Stuttgart, Germany.