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B2B e-commerce group posts net loss after year of big changes

ASX listed online marketplace Grays eCommerce Group has posted a statutory net loss after tax of $20 million in FY16, a year which saw the company shift from a mix of B2C retail and auction businesses to a predominantly B2B auction-focused business.

The online auction marketplace reported a 13.7 per cent increase in overall revenue to $124.9 million (FY15: $109.9 million), while its B2B business for used plant and equipment grew 30.7 per cent. This reflects the company’s increased focus on B2B over the past year.

“In line with our B2B growth strategy, we invested in new facilities, systems and people. We also expanded our industrial B2B offerings into the key agriculture segment with the acquisition of the leading agribusiness machinery auction house in Australia, DMS Davlan,” Grays eCommerce Group’s CEO Mark Bayliss said.

The company also expanded its B2B auction marketplace to South-East Asia, where it reported a growing pipeline of sales opportunities. “Overall, our growth initiatives in B2B resulted in a substantial lift in revenue and earnings for this business division,” Bayliss said.

Gross sales for the B2B division were up 41.3 per cent to $483.1 million in FY16, while gross sales for the company’s B2C division were down 7.6 per cent to $84.2 million. Bayliss said this was due to major event sales that were not repeated in FY16 after the company refocused on auctions over the fixed price retail business in its B2C division, which primarily sells wine and other consumer products.

“In addition, initial growth from our recently launched GraysOnline eBay Store has been encouraging,” Bayliss said.

The company expects its core B2B division to drive future growth in FY17, with the Australian market for used industrial equipment valued at $11.6 billion.

Grays eCommerce Group has introduced a dividend policy, linked to growth in earnings per share with an expected dividend payout ratio around 40 per cent of net profit after tax. It anticipates dividends to commence following the release of H1 FY17 results and to be fully franked.

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