WELLINGTON, Feb 20 (Reuters) - New Zealand online trading company Trade Me Ltd reported a 3 percent increase in first half profit on Wednesday on a strong lift in revenue.
The company said net profit for the six months to Dec. 31 was NZ$37.4 million ($31.7 million) compared with last year’s NZ$36.4 million.
It said revenue was up 18 percent on a year ago with growing purchases of its new products. It said it was looking for improved longer term growth on new products and greater use of mobile devices.
The company declared an interim dividend of 7.5 cents per share.
Last December, Australian publisher Fairfax sold its controlling 51 percent stake to pay off debt and concentrate on core business.
The shares, which have just been added to the NZ exchange’s top-10 index, closed at NZ$4.45 on Tuesday. So far this year it has gained around 11 percent, nearly three times the rise in the benchmark NZX-50 index.
Trade Me is New Zealand’s most visited web site, with around 2.5 million members in a population of 4.4 million. It offers on-line auctions and specialist advertising sections for jobs, property, holiday accommodation, and cars. ($1 = NZ$1.18)