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SEEK lifts half-year profit 11pc, dividend 10pc

Nicholas Grove  |  21 Feb 2017Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  

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SEEK Limited's (ASX: SEK) underlying net profit before one-off items for the first half of fiscal 2017 rose 11 per cent on the prior corresponding period to $113.6 million, after strong revenue growth in its Australian and New Zealand division offset weakness in its international operations.

The jobs website operator also reiterated guidance for full-year earnings before significant items of $220 million, at the upper end of its previous guidance range of $215 million to $220 million.

SEEK declared a half-year dividend of 23 cents a share fully franked, up 10 per cent on the prior half-year dividend. The dividend will be paid on 19 April 2017 to shareholders on record as at 29 March 2017.

In a statement to the ASX, SEEK CEO and co-founder Andrew Bassat said the benefit of the company's sustained investment could be seen in the results of SEEK Australia and New Zealand, which achieved revenue growth of 13 per cent.

However, Bassat said the SEEK International division is operating against soft macro conditions and is "at an earlier stage of its business model evolution".

"The subdued conditions are most felt in Brazil and across key markets in South-East Asia," he said.

Last week, SEEK announced plans to privatise its subsidiary, the New York-listed Chinese jobs website Zhaopin. A deal would see two US private equity groups buy the publicly traded shares in Zhaopin, while SEEK would retain a controlling 61.3 per cent stake in the company.

Looking forward, Bassat said SEEK is "uniquely positioned to capture large market opportunities across the broader human capital management industry".

"We are focused on solving complex problems faced by candidates and hirers and delivering on our purpose of helping people live more productive working lives and helping organisations succeed," he said.

"We expect that SEEK's mindset to solve problems and long-term focus will lead to strong returns for our shareholders over the medium to long term."

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Nicholas Grove is a Morningstar journalist.

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