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Bitauto Holdings: Bitauto Announces Fourth Quarter And Fiscal Year 2015 Results

The following excerpt is from the company's SEC filing.

BEIJING, March 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ Bitauto Holdings Limited (Bitauto or the Company) (NYSE: BITA), a leading provider of internet content and marketing services for Chinas fast-growing automotive industry, today announced its unaudited financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2015[1].

Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2015 Highlights

Revenue

in the fourth quarter of 2015 was RMB1.24 billion (US$191.3 million), a 27.1% increase from the corresponding period in 2014. Revenue in fiscal year 2015 was RMB4.01 billion (US$619.3 million), a 63.1% increase fr om 2014.

Gross profit

in the fourth quarter of 2015 was RMB902.8 million (US$139.4 million), a 35.2% increase from the corresponding period in 2014. Gross profit in fiscal year 2015 was RMB2.78 billion (US$429.5 million), a 49.4% increase from 2014.

Non-GAAP profit

in the fourth quarter of 2015 was RMB112.2 million (US$17.3 million), compared to a non-GAAP profit of RMB197.4 million (US$30.5 million) in the corresponding period in 2014. Non-GAAP profit in fiscal year 2015 was RMB367.7 million (US$56.8 million), compared to a non-GAAP profit of RMB510.9 million (US$78.9 million) in 2014.

Non-GAAP basic and diluted profit per ADS

in the fourth quarter of 2015 was RMB1.68 (US$0.26) and RMB1.63 (US$0.25), respectively. Non-GAAP basic and diluted profit per ADS in fiscal year 2015 was RMB5.86 (US$0.90) and RMB5.47 (US$0.84), respectively.

Mr. William Li, chief executive officer and chairman of Bitauto commented, We are pleased to announce healthy results for the fourth quarter of 2015, with revenue growing 27.1% year-over-year. For the full year 2015, Bitauto made significant progress across our businesses and delivered strong growth. Our top-line grew 63.1% year-over-year, with revenue from our EP platform growing 122.3% year-over-year in 2015.

In 2015, Bitauto generated over 100 million sales leads for our automobile customers, with approximately 70% of leads generated from mobile. Our EP platform maintained its industry leading position with peak paid customers exceeding 24,900 in 2015. We continued to make strategic investments and expanded our automobile transaction services offering in order to optimize consumers automobile buying experience online and offline. We have successfully developed various growth initiatives in Bitautos automobile transaction services business which have been well received by the market.

Looking to 2016, we will continue to execute on Bitautos core business strategies to strengthen our industry leadership. First, we will continue to optimize our offline service infrastructure, further develop our transaction services, including automobile transactions, CRM and automotive financing services, and improve the overall efficiency of our transaction services. Second, we will strive to further improve the automobile buying experience for customers and enhance Bitautos brand in the automobile transaction market. Third, we will continue to increase our mobile monetization capability from core businesses, such as advertising and transaction services, through tighter integration with our mobile offerings.

Mr. Andy Zhang, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Bitauto, said, Over the past year, Bitauto continued to invest in building our brand and expanding our core businesses, especially the automobile transaction services business. In 2016, we will focus on maintaining growth while enhancing our operating efficiency and solidifying our long-term competitiveness. Beginning from the first quarter of 2016, Bitauto will change its accounting standards from International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) to accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (U.S. GAAP). In addition, in order to better reflect Bitautos business structure and provide more clarity regarding its operating performance, beginning from the first quarter of 2016, the company will report financial results across three business segments: advertising and subscription business, transaction services business and digital marketing solutions business.

Fourth Quarter 2015 Results

Bitauto reported

of RMB1.24 billion (US$191.3 million) for the fourth quarter of 2015, including

advertising and subscription revenue

of RMB1.06 billion (US$163.6 million) and

agent service revenue[2]

of RMB179.6 million (US$27.7 million), representing a 27.1% increase from the corresponding period in 2014. The increase in revenue was primarily attributable to the growth of the Companys EP platform business and advertising business.

Cost of revenue

for the fourth quarter of 2015 was RMB336.6 million (US$52.0 million), representing a year-over-year increase of 9.4% from RMB307.7 million (US$47.5 million). Cost of revenue as a percentage of revenue in the fourth quarter of 2015 was 27.2%, compared to 31.6% in the corresponding period in 2014.

for the fourth quarter of 2015 was RMB902.8 million (US$139.4 million), representing a 35.2% increase from the corresponding period in 2014.

Selling and administrative expenses

were RMB1.17 billion (US$181.0 million) for the fourth quarter of 2015, representing an increase of 178.1% from the corresponding period in 2014. This increase was primarily attributable to the increase in headcount and related expenses, mobile marketing efforts, amortization of intangible assets relating to the strategic cooperation with JD.com as well as write-down of assets.

Product development expenses

were RMB88.8 million (US$13.7 million) for the fourth quarter of 2015, a 74.7% increase from the corresponding period in 2014. The increase was primarily due to an increase in product development headcount and related expenses.

Share-based payment expenses

, which were allocated to related operating expense line items, were RMB27.6 million (US$4.3 million) in the fourth quarter of 2015, compared to RMB34.0 million (US$5.2 million) in the corresponding period in 2014.

IFRS operating loss

in the fourth quarter of 2015 was RMB364.1 million (US$56.2 million), compared to an operating profit of RMB194.2 million (US$30.0 million) in the corresponding period in 2014. This was primarily attributable to increased compensation expense resulting from an increase in both headcount and the level of salaries and benefits, marketing expense, amortization of intangible assets related to the strategic cooperation with JD.com, as well as write-down of assets.

Non-GAAP operating profit

in the fourth quarter of 2015 was RMB108.7 million (US$16.8 million), compared to a non-GAAP operating profit of RMB239.4 million (US$37.0 million) in the corresponding period in 2014.

Income tax expense

in the fourth quarter of 2015 was RMB7.3 million (US$1.1 million), compared to RMB38.5 million (US$5.9 million) in the corresponding period in 2014.

IFRS loss

in the fourth quarter of 2015 was RMB314.3 million (US$48.5 million), compared to an IFRS profit of RMB150.0 million (US$23.2 million) in the corresponding period in 2014. Basic and diluted loss per ADS, each representing one ordinary share, in the fourth quarter of 2015 amounted to RMB5.30 (US$0.82) and RMB5.30 (US$0.82), respectively.

in the fourth quarter of 2015 was RMB112.2 million (US$17.3 million), compared to a non-GAAP profit of RMB197.4 million (US$30.5 million) in the corresponding period in 2014. Non-GAAP basic and diluted profit per ADS in the fourth quarter of 2015 amounted to RMB1.68 (US$0.26) and RMB1.63 (US$0.25), respectively.

Fourth Quarter 2015 Business Segment Results

Revenue from the advertising business

for the fourth quarter of 2015 was RMB455.2 million (US$70.3 million), representing a 1.4% increase from the corresponding period in 2014.

Cost of revenue for the advertising business

for the fourth quarter of 2015 was RMB83.3 million (US$12.9 million), compared to RMB109.9 million (US$17.0 million) for the corresponding period in 2014. Cost of revenue as a percentage of revenue in the fourth quarter of 2015 was 18.3%, compared to 24.5% in the corresponding period in 2014.

Gross profit from the advertising business

for the fourth quarter of 2015 was RMB371.9 million (US$57.4 million), representing a 9.7% increase from the corresponding period in 2014.

Operating profit from the advertising business

for the fourth quarter of 2015 was RMB134.6 million (US$20.8 million), representing a 19.7% increase from the corresponding period in 2014.

Revenue from the EP platform business

for the fourth quarter of 2015 was RMB604.5 million (US$93.3 million), representing a 78.0% increase from the corresponding period in 2014. The increase was attributable to an increase in transaction services including automobile transactions, customer relationship management and automotive financing services, as well as an increase in the number of paid customers.

Cost of revenue for the EP platform business

for the fourth quarter of 2015 was RMB167.0 million (US$25.8 million), representing a year-over-year increase of 17.8% from RMB141.7 million (US$21.9 million) for the corresponding period in 2014. Cost of revenue as a percentage of revenue in the fourth quarter of 2015 was 27.6%, compared to 41.7% in the corresponding period in 2014.

Gross profit from the EP platform business

for the fourth quarter of 2015 was RMB437.5 million (US$67.5 million), representing a 121.1% increase from the corresponding period in 2014.

Operating loss from the EP platform business

for the fourth quarter of 2015 was RMB502.5 million (US$77.6 million), compared to an operating profit of RMB12.2 million (US$1.9 million) in the corresponding period in 2014. This was primarily attributable to the increased investment in transaction services on the EP platform, an increase in amortization of intangible assets relating to the strategic cooperation with JD.com as well as write-down of assets.

Revenue from the digital marketing solutions business

for the fourth quarter of 2015 was RMB179.6 million (US$27.7 million), compared to RMB186.6 million (US$28.8 million) for the corresponding period in 2014.

Cost of revenue for the digital marketing solutions business

for the fourth quarter of 2015 was RMB86.3million (US$13.3 million), representing a year-over-year increase of 53.9% from RMB56.1 million (US$8.7 million) for the corresponding period in...


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