Automotive portal network iCar Asia (ASX: ICQ) says it’s on track to break even by the end of 2019 after marking a 36% year-on-year increase in customer cash receipts for the fourth quarter.
Cash receipts tipped in at $3 million at the end of December, representing a fourth consecutive quarterly cash collection of more than $3 million.
The company saw some positive results from the Thailand and Malaysian markets, with its Thai operations becoming earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) and cash flow positive in December on the back of improvements in listings and audience numbers.
After breaking even in September, the Malaysian arm of its business recorded its first quarterly positive EBITDA and net cashflow.
Meanwhile, the company reported an overall net cash loss of $2.5 million which represented a slight improvement on the prior quarter.
iCar Asia closed out the quarter with $9.5 million in cash and cash equivalents, down from $12.2 million at the end of September.
iCar Asia is the owner of ASEAN’s premier network of automotive portals. The company is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and operates a network of customer facing websites including Carlist.my, One2Car.com and Thaicar.com.
Growing momentum across the board
While the company isn’t forecasting a profit, iCar Asia told shareholders it remained on track to reach a breakeven position by the end of 2019 as it seeks to become the largest and most trusted automotive portal in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
Commenting on the results, iCar Asia chief executive officer Hamish Stone said the company ended the year very strongly and reaffirmed the company’s commitment to going digital.
“We remain committed to our vision of driving the digital transformation in the automotive industry in the ASEAN region and see 2019 as a year to confirm iCar Asia’s position in the region as the catalyst for this change,” he said.
The company’s Indonesian arm is also showing signs of green shoots after used car subscriptions and restrictions were placed on the free listing section in September.
The focus since then has been on driving adoption with existing paying accounts to these new subscription products as it seeks to monetise its strategy for Indonesia. Listings increased 5% compared to the corresponding quarter in 2017, while audience levels jumped 16%.
In addition, its auction business continues to gather momentum.
The gross market value of cars sold through the auction platform has now reached $2.3 million since its inception in the second-half of 2018.
Investors reacted positively to the financial results, with iCar Asia’s shares jumping 38.4% to $0.18.