Chmiel appointed chairman, as ICar Asia innovates

01 Mar 2017

ASX-listed ICar Asia recently announced the retirement of Patrick Grove as chairman of the board and the appointment of current, independent non-executive director Georg Chmiel as his successor.

Grove, who served as chairman from June 2012, will continue to serve the company as a non-executive director. Chmiel joined the board as independent director on Nov. 1, 2016.

Georg Chmiel, now chairman of ICar Asia Group (photo from his LinkedIn page with thanks)

In January, Mitula Group, a listed classifieds company with brands such as Mitula, Nestoria and Nuroa, and real estate sites in nine Southeast Asian countries under the Dotproperty and Thailand-Property brands, also appointed Chmiel to its board.

Chmiel is currently chief financial officer of IFlix Group, which also belongs to Catcha Group. Previously, he was managing director of IProperty Group (a former ASX-listed company). Under his leadership, IProperty Group saw strong growth in revenue, reached profitability, and a positive cashflow, before it was sold to REA Group in the largest merger in online advertising in Southeast Asia up till then.

Chmiel also held the position of chief financial officer and general manager international of REA Group Ltd (ASX: REA) for almost six years.

ICar Asia released its results for FY2016 on Febr. 23. (Note: the sites in the ICar Asia portfolio is listed below.) Revenue grew year-on-year, but so did the EBITDA loss.

Total group revenue rose 6 percent to $6.7 million AUD ($5.1 million U.S.) from FY2015. On a forex neutral basis, revenue climbed 10 percent year-on-year. The EBITDA loss grew to $13.8 million AUD from $11.4 million AUD in FY2015.

Management said the automotive industry in the Southeast Asian region experienced challenging economic conditions in 2016, with new-car sales down year-on-year in Malaysia and Thailand, and growing only slowly in Indonesia.

A positive development was the continued shift in 2016 of consumers to digital channels.

ICar Asia finished FY2016 in a stronger cash position. On the one hand, because cash receipts were 20 percent up on FY2015 to AUD $7.45 million, as collections were tightened, and customers bought more prepaid credits to purchase online ‘depth’ products.

On the other hand, the company raised capital in H2 of FY2016 with a placement at institutions. The $23 million AUD raised, meant that the company finished FY2016 with $27.1 million AUD in cash, cash equivalents and term deposits, providing resources for the company to execute its expansion plans in 2017.

ICar Asia CEO Hamish Stone said a number of major products will be launched in Q1 of FY2017. He explained that new apps will deliver messaging, and local businesses can expect strong growth in leads. He said the new-car offer of the company will also be amended in all markets ICar Asia operates.

Further to that, new technologies will be introduced to make it easier for advertisers to connect to audiences in premium segments on ICar Asia’s sites.

The company listed its strategic priorities as:

• Consumer audience and lead growth through TV marketing to drive app and messaging adoption;
• Used-car dealer app and price strategy revision;
• Launch a revised proposition for new-car dealers and OEM;
• Audience segmentation to drive media sales and revenue growth; and
• Expanding into commercial vehicles, motorbikes and parts and accessories.

For more information on the FY2016 results, please click here.

ICar Asia Group network of sites in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand:

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Marian Jacob

Marian Jacob is covering South East Asia. Marian worked in marketing and corporate communications for over a decade, covering both internal and external communications. She began her career in professional services, leading up to communications business partnering in various multi-national organizations with progressive cultures. Marian has worked on both global and regional roles within communications. She also provides counsel to companies on strategic communications and marketing opportunities. She was an editor on the Singapore Audit Committee Guidance Committee Handbook for companies.