The boom that the real estate market experienced in 2022, particularly in the first half of the year, also encouraged the accounts of websites specialized in the sale or rental of houses. Idealista SAU, the company that operates the largest portal in Spain for searching for housing in Spain, closed last year with a turnover of 118.8 million euros. This represents 17% more than in 2021, when the turnover stood at 101.5 million. Despite this improvement, the company declares losses above 50 million in the last annual accounts deposited with the Mercantile Registry. And he explains that this negative result does not respond to the operational progress of the business, but to an accounting effect.
The Swedish fund EQT took over a stake of more than 80% of Idealista in 2020 in an operation that valued the company at 1,321 million. That amount was above the equity that the company had, and the law allows that difference to be amortized over 10 years. Therefore, as the management report explains, the negative result is “mainly due to the effects of the amortization of goodwill and intangible assets.” Specifically, the accounts show a negative figure of 102.7 million for “depreciation of fixed assets”. And that drags the final result before taxes to losses of 44.9 million which, after the payment of 8.7 million taxes on benefits, leave the final balance in losses of 53.6 million. It is less than in 2021, when there were 59 million.
However, in the operational part, the numbers attest to the good year experienced by the real estate business, since 2022 was the year in which the most houses changed hands in Spain since 2007. In addition to the increase in billing, Idealista increased the average number of employees with a fixed contract from 596 in 2021 to 643 last year. The non-fixed ones went from 21 to seven. That raised the cost of payrolls a little more than 12%, going from 30.2 to 33.9 million.
The accounts also explain that there are only 25% women in the administrative body, below the good governance recommendations that the CNMV makes for listed companies (Idealista is not). What they do not specify is how much the salaries, allowances and other remuneration of the board of directors and senior management represent. And neither do how many people fall into those categories. This motivates the auditor, from the Deloitte firm, to issue a “qualified opinion” on the accounts and specify that this information is “required by current commercial legislation.”
Idealista SAU obtains the bulk of its income from “the contracting of advertisement publication packages by real estate professionals on the portals www.idealista.com and www.yaencontre.com”, according to the management report. A “very varied type of client” enters this subscription service, ranging from real estate agencies to financial institutions or private clients. For 2023, the company has “optimistic” prospects, although it cites among the challenges facing cybersecurity, reputational risks, the intensification of competition or legislative changes linked to the real estate sector, among others.
The accounts are not presented in consolidated mode (the group also has portals in Italy and Portugal, and provides other types of services other than real estate) because Idealista Global was created as the parent company after the purchase by the Swedish fund. This company, which acts as the parent company of Idealista SAU, does present consolidated accounts of all the companies under the Idealista umbrella, with a combined turnover of 218 million in 2022, and losses after goodwill amortization of 82 million, as and how did he advance Expansion.
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