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CFO - SEEK profit up 31% as Zhaopin swings to profit

By Dylan Bushell-Embling (CFO World)

SEEK Limited (ASX:SEK) grew its 1H profit 31% to $36.6 million, as a result of strong domestic growth and its Chinese venture Zhaopin swinging to profitability.

The company, which operates the employment website, reported a 22% year-on-year increase in revenue to $130.3 million. Ebitda grew 12% to $55.8 million.

The company's employment business in Australia and New Zealand recorded revenue of $106.8 million and ebitda of $62.8 million, up 36% and 55% respectively.

SEEK's outgoing joint CEO, Paul Bassat said the results reflect the ongoing migration of employment advertising from print to online. “As employment markets have improved, growth in online job ads has significantly outpaced growth in print job ads,” he said.

He pointed to ANZ research which shows that online currently captures some 82% of all job ads.

SEEK's Zhaopin joint venture, in which it owns a 56.1% stake, moved to profitability during the period, achieving a positive ebitda in each month.

But its SEEK Education businesses – SEEK Learning, THINK and IDP – had a challenging six months, Bassat said.

SEK shares fell 11.74% during Tuesday's trading to $6.240.

SEEK on Tuesday also announced that Paul Bassat's brother, Andrew Bassat has signed a contract to become the company's sole CEO until at least 2013.