Bitauto Holdings Limited (NYSE:BITA)
Q2 2016 Earnings Conference Call
August 09, 2016 08:00 AM ET
William Li - Chairman and CEO
Andy Zhang - President and CFO
Evan Zhou - Credit Suisse
Ming Xu - UBS
Terry Chen - HSBC
Hello and thank you for standing by for Bitauto's Second Quarter 2016 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in listen-only mode. After management's prepared remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. Today's conference is being recorded. If you have any objections, you may disconnect at this time.
I would now like to turn the meeting over to your host for today's conference, please go ahead, sir.
Unidentified Company Representative
Thank you. Welcome to Bitauto’s second quarter 2016 earnings conference call. Joining us from the company today are Mr. William Li, Chairman and CEO; and Mr. Andy Zhang, President and CFO of Bitauto. After their prepared remarks, William and Andy will be available to answer your questions.
Before we proceed, please note that discussions today will contain forward-looking statements made under the Safe Harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities and Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, which may cause actual results to differ materially from our current expectations. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to those outlined in our public filings with the SEC, including registration statement on Form F1.
Bitauto does not undertake any obligations to update any forward-looking statement except as required under applicable law. This call will include discussions of certain unaudited non-GAAP financial measures. Please refer to our earnings release, which was issued earlier today for reconciliations of these unaudited non-GAAP measures to the most directly comparable unaudited GAAP measures.
As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. In addition, a live and archived webcast of the conference will be made available on our website.
I will now turn the call over to William Li, Chairman and CEO of Bitauto. And the interpreter will interpret his remarks for you.
Hello everyone, and thank you for joining us for our second quarter 2016 earnings conference call.
We were pleased to maintain steady growth in the second quarter of 2016, with revenue growing 31.1% year-over-year. In particular, our automobile transaction services business made solid progress during the quarter, and our online automotive financial platform services business continue to gain momentum.
Bitauto is committed to providing our automobile consumers with the best possible automobile purchasing experience. Our automobile transaction services business also recorded over 75,500 revenue-generating transactions executed in the second quarter of 2016.
Now, I'll give you a quick update on the programs we've made in our automobile transaction services business. Based on our experience over the past two years exploring innovative business models, our focus will be geared to those business segments which have outstanding long-term growth and the profit potential as well as their ability to drive significant synergy, notably our Huimaiche platform and automotive financial platform business.
As you may have seen, Yixin Capital recently received US$550 million in investments from a consortium including Bitauto, Tencent, Baidu, JD.com and other investors. This ongoing support from this leading Chinese internet companies is a strong validation of the solid progress Yixin Capital has made so far as well as of its potential for future growth. By leveraging data user and capital resulted from these partners, we are confident that Yixin Capital will extend its position as a leading online automotive financial services platform in China.
We are very excited about the potential we see in further developing and integrating our e-commerce platform and the financial services platform businesses. For example, in the second quarter, we started to design innovative products that allow consumers to purchase automobiles on Huimaiche combined with prepackaged automotive financial solutions with sales beginning in the coming quarters. We will continue to explore more product offerings on top of the purchasing environment for any [indiscernible] mature platform while it will generate more layers of revenue and profit throughout the whole automobile purchasing value chain.
In 2016, Bitauto will continue to execute on our top business strategies to enhance our long-term competitiveness. First up, we plan to further develop our automobile transaction services including automobile transaction, CRM and online automotive financial platform services with better consumer purchasing experience and the greater efficiency of our online and offline service infrastructure.
Second, we will drive to further increase our mobile monetization capability as we continue to improve our mobile offerings with more targeted marketing solutions enabled by our big data analytics. Third, we will continue to strengthen our Bitauto services offering, particularly on mobile devices and social media.
Finally, as you all have seen from our release, we announced today the resignation of Bitauto's President Mr. Jingning Shao effective immediately. Since joining Bitauto in 2009, Jingning has made significant contributions to Bitauto's growth. We are pleased that he will remain a member of Bitauto's Board of Directors serving as Vice Chairman, a position in which he will be able to continue to share his industry expertise and resources.
We were also pleased to announce today that Andy Zhang, our Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer has been named the company President effective immediately. As you know, Andy brings to the table a large experience in China's automotive industry and a deep knowledge of Bitauto's full range of business lines. In his new role as President and Chief Financial Officer, Andy's focus will be integrating the company's automobile transaction services with the advertising and the subscription businesses to further drive sustainable revenue and profit growth.
With that, I will invite Andy to go through our Q2 2016 financial and the business results with further details. Thank you.
Thanks William, hello everyone. In the second quarter of 2016, we were pleased to deliver steady top line growth, driven by the robust performance of our transaction services business, which has benefited from the investments we've made in exploring various business models and growth initiatives over the past two years. As we have accumulated experience and gradually build up the scale of our transaction services business, we've been able to identify business models which are scalable, profitable and it can provide Bitauto with long-term sustainable growth.
As William mentioned previously, Huimaiche, our financial services platform, are now in the - at the core of our automobile transaction services business. Looking forward, we focus on scaling up Bitauto's high potential businesses, we will continue to integrate our operations to enhance efficiency and ensure sustainable growth over the long term.
Now let me walk you through our financial highlights for the second quarter of 2016. We reported revenue of RMB1.39 billion, US$209.4 million for the second quarter of 2016, representing a 31.1% increase from the corresponding period in 2015. The increase in revenue was attributable to the growth of company's advertising, subscription and the transaction services business as well as our digital marketing solutions business.
Revenue from the advertising and the subscription business for the second quarter of 2016 was RMB890.3 million, US$134 million, representing a 15.5% increase from RMB771.1 million, US$116 million in the corresponding period in 2015. The increase was primarily attributable to an increase in advertising and subscription fees spending by customers.
Revenue from the transaction services business for the second quarter of 2016 was RMB308.3 million, US$46.4 million, representing a 67.8% increase from RMB183.8 million, US$27.7 million in the corresponding period in 2015. The increase was attributable to a higher volume of transaction services, which were built in that quarter.
Revenue from the digital marketing solutions business for the second quarter of 2016 was RMB192.8 million, US$29 million, representing an 81.2% increase from RMB106.4 million, US$16 million in the corresponding period in 2015, which primarily was due to an increase in the number of advertising customers.
Gross profit for the second quarter of 2016 was RMB850.5 million, US$128 million, representing a 24.7% increase from the corresponding period in 2015, in line with revenue growth.
Operating loss in the second quarter of 2016 was RMB0.4 million, US$0.1 million compared to an operating loss of RMB48.4 million, US$7.3 million in the corresponding period in 2015.
Non-GAAP operating profit in the second quarter of 2016 was RMB169.4 million, US$25.5 million, representing a 32.1% increase from the corresponding period in 2015.
Net loss in the second quarter of 2016 was RMB47.5 million, US$7.1 million compared to a net loss of RMB55.2 million, US$8.3 million in the corresponding period in 2015.
Basic and a diluted net loss per ADS, each representing one ordinary share, in the second quarter of 2016 amounted to RMB1.37, US$0.21, and RMB1.37, US$0.21, respectively.
Non-GAAP net profit in the second quarter of 2016 was RMB124.8 million, US$18.8 million, a 1.8% increase from the corresponding period in 2015.
Non-GAAP basic and a diluted net profit per ADS in the second quarter of 2016 amounted to RMB1.37, US$0.21 and RMB1.33, US$0.20 respectively.
As of June 30, 2016, the company had cash and cash equivalents and the restricted cash of RMB3.89 billion, US$586.1 million. Cash used in operating activities, cash used in investing activities, and the cash from financing activities in the second quarter of 2016 were RMB1.63 billion, US$245.4 million, RMB1.40 billion, US$210.5 million, and RMB1.91 billion, US$288.1 million, respectively.
Bills receivables, representing short-term notes receivable issued by financial institutions that entitle the company to receive the full face amount from the financial institutions at maturity, which generally range from three months to six months from the date of issuance was RMB61.1 million, US$9.2 million as of June 30, 2016 compared to RMB147.7 million, US$22.2 million as of December 31, 2015.
Trade receivables was RMB2.59 billion, US$390 million as of June 30, 2016, compared to RMB1.9 billion, US$285.9 million as of December 31, 2015. This increase was in line with the overall revenue growth.
The number of employees totaled 6,246 as of June 30, 2016, including employees of the entities in which Bitauto acquired and holds controlling interests. This represented a 57.5% increase from June 30, 2015, which was primarily due to higher headcount in Bitauto’s customer support service teams as the company expands its offline service infrastructure to enhance the automobile buying experience as well as increased headcount in Bitauto’s mobile product development team.
With that, I’ll turn to guidance for the third quarter 2016. Bitauto currently expects to generate revenue in the range of RMB1.37 billion, US$206.1 million to RMB1.42 billion, US$213.7 million in the third quarter of 2016. This forecast takes into consideration seasonality factors in Bitauto’s business, and excludes any impact of foreign currency fluctuation. It reflects management’s current and preliminary view, which is subject to change.
So we’re now ready for questions. Operator?
Thank you, sir. The question and answer session of this conference call will start in a moment. In order to be fair to all the callers who wish to ask questions, we will take one question at a time from each caller. If you have more than one question, we request you to join the question queue again after your first question has been addressed [Operator Instructions]. The first question comes from the line of Evan Zhou. Please ask your question.
Hi Will and Andy. Thank you for taking my questions and congratulations Andy on your new role. So question is regarding the - our recently signed cooperation with the major strategic investors, I think we’ve successfully done two major deals for the listed company as well as for Yixin as well. So wonder if you guys can share some more colors on what’s the next step of cooperation on the product side, on operation side, how do we better utilize the resources from these major strategic investors and also in terms of number of contribution how shall we outlook the revenue profit contribution from Yixin for the rest of the year and maybe some sense here as well. Thank you.
Allow us to briefly translate. The first question will be answered by William and I’ll answer the second question.
Yes, the investors such as Baidu, JD.com and Tencent is further invested in Bitauto and also the management especially me also increased our holdings. And recently, we also attracted a further investment of US$550 million of the investors such as Baidu, JD.com and Tencent as well as Bitauto and other investors as well. So this - actually this investment demonstrates that the investors really acknowledge the past performance of Bitauto in the past two years especially in terms of innovation and transaction services and the overall industry industrial allocation and the beating trend - the trend beater and et cetera.
Now we are fully aware that we need to make full use of the data that we can acquire online and in order to do a better marketing and through this data and also combined with the services we can provide offline.
Now we have actually consolidated and integrated data from the major websites such as Tencent, Baidu, JD.com and also our own website and also hundreds of other websites in this line, so this type of foundational work will certainly be a very important catalyst for the further business promotion in the future.
And for example, our automobile customers can increase about 50% of the efficiency while doing the targeted marketing on the website of Tencent with the help of the provision of this big data. And our shareholders also hope that we will be able to explore further opportunities of providing financial services to our customers through the financial services platform, Yixin. So our shareholders not only collaborate with us in terms of the data and users, but also they have a strong intension for collaborating with us in terms of investments. But still we are discussing further details about further investment. But we assure that there will be opportunities for us to work on this in the future.
So with the very solid foundation we have made with our customers and with our alliances and our investors such as by providing the big data and also the user responses and investment and et cetera and also with strong capabilities of Bitauto both online and offline, we are very confident that in the future we will be able to provide better services to our customers. Andy, back to you.
Okay. As to what kind of contribution Yixin is - will be seeing for the year to the Listco, I think first of all, you are really looking at a business where it starts to generate significant flow of revenue as of last quarter, first quarter of this year and it will continue ramp up fairly quickly, mainly because the revenue Yixin has generated at this moment are mostly retail financing revenue and the normal term of this financing for leasing for the customers is accumulated over the next 24 months to 36 months. So the revenues are being recognized on a month-over-month basis. And those customers who we were recognizing that started from last year all the way up unto this point, will continue to be recognized throughout the next quarter and the fourth quarter and onwards until the time where the term expires.
So in other words, that we continue to quickly ramp up this particular scale of customers on the consumer end, we will see a quick growth of the top line. And simultaneously, at this moment, some of the revenues that are being generated, the cash that’s fundings that being used are mainly the capital registered fundings, which has no cost on the funding side. So therefore, the profitability of itself is also fairly apparent, would be contributed through the Listco in the quarters ahead.
In terms of the exact number of contributions or percentage of contributions, I think Yixin will take a good majority of what the transactions services sector can contribute to the Listco. So therefore, it’s fair to say, we’re looking at approximately 20% of current year’s revenue will be coming from the entire transaction services sector of the businesses for the Listco this year.
Similarly, for the profitabilities and Yixin will continue to contribute profits. However, you also understand that while within the sector, Yixin's profits and revenues, we also have other businesses which were involved that actually helped creating these what we call the car purchasing environment, which more specifically relates to Huimaiche. And Huimaiche currently also strives to see a revenue flow that comes in from the transaction that it facilitated. Up until last month in July, we actually started a full throttle and an implementation and also integration for treating Huimaiche’s team and as well as Yixin’s team on the products that Huimaiche can also sell to customers, while it is selling the vehicle on behalf of the vehicle owner, which is mostly dealers.
And so far, we have seen in different areas, different results that’s coming back to us. And we’re very confident that a lot of those transactions that will be or are originated from online throughout the entire BITA as well as Yixin’s platform will be fairly converted into the offline and eventually a full blown transaction. And the BITA will benefit from providing those services to the dealers, to the OEMs, and also to the financial services and institutions that we’re working with, to make sure that all of those work will be rewarded from all of those partners, while one of the transactions are being - a lot of those transactions are being recognized.
We will continue to see this number increase. Obviously, we’ve done 75 - more than 75,000 of these transactions during the second quarter. We will definitely continue to see this number raise and quickly grows. Again, I think want to reassure people that we’re looking at least 300,000 transactions will be completed and the revenues collected this year for the 2016. In the meanwhile, we've seen already more than 130,000 of these completed in the first half of the year.
So we are pretty much on track as to what we have communicated in the first half of the year - at the beginning of the year to the public, and we’re executing it well. So this is my answer to your second question. Thank you.
Thanks, Andy. Thanks, William.
Thank you. Your next question comes from the line of Ming Xu from UBS. Please ask your question.
Thanks, William, and thanks, Andy and congratulation Andy on your new role. So I also have a few questions on Yixin. So first is, can we - can you share with us maybe the valuation of Yixin post the recent round of financing, maybe a rough number will be also helpful.
And secondly is about the business scale. So I read from the press release that you have RMB5.12 billion financial leasing receivables by the end of second quarter. So do you have a target, maybe by the end of this year or by the end of this year? This is my second question.
And third question is, if we consider the funding cost of Yixin, of course, you don’t - the funding cost of the equity financing will be zero. But if we further consider when you ramp up, when you leverage up the borrowing cost of Yixin, so I noticed that you have RMB2.11 billion interest bearing borrowing by the end of Q2. So can I confirm is this - are these the ADS you did in first half? And also we know from - that the ADS have interest rate of around 4.5% to 5 point something percent. So is that the range of borrowing cost we should model going forward when we consider your leverage up? Thanks.
Okay, thank you. I'll be answering all the questions as it relates to Yixin mostly. I think Yixin's valuation after this fund raising is already above US$2 billion. I think at this moment I would because it's more of a private entity as by yourself, I will choose not to disclose the exact amount, but it's between US$2 billion and US$2.5 billion on the post-money basis. This answers your first question.
Second question is that on the balance sheet you actually saw and also we actually this time we broke it out for you. You saw about more than RMB$5 billion from assets, it's on my books so which relates to Yixin. First of all, the intake is correct and secondly we're looking for this number to be little bit more than doubled by the end of the year. But again, I want to continue to stress the point where that Yixin is not a - as it progresses along, Yixin's positioning still a platform player in this particular industry. Other words regardless how much of registered capital received, regardless of how much leverage we'll be getting based on these additional capital, our pursuit is still to act as a platform within this particular industry given that we have the special expertise in the car industry, given that we have a lot more than anyone else's data that's accumulated within this particular industry relating to vehicles itself relating to pricings, relating to transactions, relating to the consumer who buys them, who sells them, who is looking to use them et cetera et cetera. And also the expertise in the car financing/leasing sector where how to manage these assets after you have extended a lease or a loan to the consumers and to the customers.
So therefore, our focus will remain to be outsourcing and providing these services and capabilities to the industry players such as the banks across China, such as financial - car financing companies across China, such as other car leasing companies across China. As fact of the matter is you will soon see within Yixin's revenue we'll have a platform service oriented let's call risk management outsource oriented as well as asset management outsource oriented revenue that will come up within the Yixin's P&L other than just the pure interest spread between a borrowing cost and my revenue, which is my interest revenue coming from the consumers.
So I just want to make sure that you're seeing Yixin the right way, where as we move along we will see that in higher auto financing sectors on an annual basis, now it's RMB700 billion business will soon grow up to about RMB3000 billion - RMB2000 billion to RMB3000 billion or RMB2 trillion to RMB3 trillion annual business within the next three to five years. I think - I don't think there is any single one company or bank will take up a significant enough share - market share. So therefore, our path and our choice is actually to pursue being the platform and a facility everyone else to capture that market while we outsource the most valuable scales and the data that we have and also that we accumulate among the - my partners given that the shareholders as well as the investees that we have been working within this entire industry.
Lastly to answer your question on the cost of funding. On the pure asset side, the cost of funding for Yixin is between 4% to 6% per annum. So this is particularly low compared to a lot of my competitors for a few different reasons. The main reason being Yixin is a very profitable company. And secondly is that the asset that we accumulate are really top-notch assets which has less than 0.5% of the late payments or delayed payments, so in this industry we’re about 20% of where the industry average is on those fronts. So good quality assets, profitability, profitable company, will give you the status among the investors on the asset side as well as the interest coming from the bank end, so therefore that’s why we’re able to sustain such a low cost of funding.
But again keep in mind in China normally on the leverage ratio-wise for financing/leasing company, theoretically speaking it’s 10 times the registered capital, but in practice you normally start with twice to three times at the most and you work your way up as you progress. The highest I’ve seen on the sort of local company without any shareholding coming from the government is about five to six times. So do not expect Yixin to grow into a big asset oriented company, but do expect Yixin to grow into a large platform that facilitates hundreds of billions dollar worth of transactions every year on the car leasing and financing side.
So this is exactly what we are pointing, what we are eyeing. And soon enough, by the end of the year, this metastatic number I can release to the public which is how well we are converting those daily online applications on car leasing and car loans, throughout my entire platform and are being converted into actual transactions, actual lendings and leasings with Yixin's own balance sheet as well as with all the partners that’s been working with Yixin using Yixin as a platform. So when you actually see that kind of numbers, you will actually have a deeper understanding of our positioning on that.
And again I'm extremely excited about how Yixin is progressing as an online to offline platform and facilitating these transactions on behalf of different banks and the private financing companies, and we’ll continue to do so and leveraging our key competencies. Thank you.
Thanks, very helpful.
Thank you. Your next question comes from the line of Terry Chen from HSBC. Please ask your question.
Hi, good evening and good morning everyone. Thank you management for taking my questions and congratulations Andy for your promotion. Also I have a question related to Yixin, a quick follow-up. So what you’re saying will be the long-term normalized margin of this business. You talk about low funding cost and also new proposition with the big data capability and servicing capability, so I'm just wondering with Yixin taking out more revenue contribution will improve our overall margin?
And also a related question will be your cooperation with Baidu, because Baidu is a kind of a new investor in our company, so could you give more color on our potential cooperation opportunity with Baidu in future? Thank you.
Okay. I guess, first of all, I think by now probably people already know that Yixin is a quite profitable company. So on the long-run basis when the platform handles between RMB50 billion to about RMB100 billion or more worth of transactions per year, which you will be see that soon enough within the next two to three years. We are seeing a somewhat of a - in the high 20s and the low 30s on the net margin-wise, so it will be fairly comparable to my median margin in a way. But I think what I'm really seeing now is that given that’s a very healthy margin on the financing and leasing and we’re also seeing the scale of the business to be I’d say much larger given that we’re fairly limited to a vertical industry, the vertical sector. Just keep in mind that the returns that financial institutions generally are currently generating from all the car leasing and the loan - yeah, in car leasing and the financings on the retail end is in between I’ll say a 10% to all the upwards of 20%, so in that wide range.
So therefore, while you are providing those services outsourcing those capabilities, the financial institutions and the bank would be fairly generous in terms of sharing those upsides with you because obviously most of these guys are capable of analyzing or credit rating a person. However, lack of capability of analyzing and appraising and evaluating and managing a fleet or asset in terms of car itself.
So therefore this is our knowhow, and our competency that's where it kicks in. Simultaneously where we can also gather whole group of consumer behavior before, after and during a consumer time where they owning or buying a vehicle. So all of those data will be extremely valuable to creating all those values to my partners in the daily routine businesses.
As for the Baidu-wise, obviously you are really looking at a company who is still the number one in the search industry. So I think the key for us is that it's very real that you actually see three out of the four largest internet companies in China simultaneously investing cash into a company, into an internet company. I think they also see something valuable in us, meaning that motor industry similarly to a lot of the other vertical industries are extremely vertical. So therefore, they have pretty high barriers in the knowhow and as well as the industry relations as well as the behavior of those consumers who actually comes into this stage of action.
All of those knowledge, knowhow and the capabilities are the key that all those partners are looking for. And while they are looking for this, I think William has answered in terms on the data side, in terms from the customer side. But also especially for YiXin, we've already decided to work risk management, on the risk management profiles and as well as risk management models with Baidu to create different models for Baidu customers to analyze Baidu's customers especially with Baidu's Wallet and hopefully in the future Baidu's map business as well.
So they are leveraging off of our auto industry knowledge, we are leveraging off their overall data and other knowledge to create something that's more complete to the - especially to the financing and to the finance industry. Obviously, Baidu because they are focused on search as their primary knowhow, we are also looking forward to maybe take a part in that collaboration as well for Yixin. Other words that there is a possibility when they work with Baidu on the similar product as they do work with other guys on the new car and used car end when you are looking at the car leasing, car financing area.
Other than that, I think there - I think William also briefly mentioned among all of the major strategic shareholders, they all have a very - first of all, very healthy balance sheet, enough fundings on cash-wise and they all actually own or operate their own financing/banking business. So they also will be seeing funding relationships between them and those arms along with Yixin as well and on the very, very controllable cost basis.
So again, the whole purpose of us bringing all of those strategic guys in is to see how we can create some ripples between the consumers that's overlapping each other and also data that are complementing each other as well as the funding side where - you know, when they need assets, we can actually help them to create those, all the more healthy way. So these are sort of the synergies we can see immediately with all the partners. So just to give you a brief run down of what we've already done with those partners.
With Tencent, we are currently actively working with them on the [indiscernible] area, front. I think William mentioned that. And secondly, within QQ Wallet, recently we also see our car - searchable car owners card, car owners membership card business as well as Yixin's business being fully implemented into the QQ Wallet.
On Baidu front, we are also looking at Baidu wallet integration as well as search end collaboration. And hopefully in the near future, by the end of the year, earlier next year, maybe mapping on the map, Baidu map collaboration as well, as well as some of the funding collaborations.
For JC, go without saying obviously their own auto channel are currently being operated by us. And the JD Finance that's been extremely collaborative in terms of working with Yixin, creating a much value for Yixin's entrance into the BITA as well as JD Financing overall. We've been also working with them on their payment side simultaneously. So JD Payment is also on Yixin, and some enough WeChat payment will also be implemented and as well as Baidu Wallet which is the payment side will also be implemented into Yixin.
So in other words that I think overall just to sum it up, Yixin will probably be the representation of BITA's transitioning into a transaction-oriented business, where the focus has really been shifted to customer accounts, customer acquisition conversion and as well as ASP ARPUs and the whole set of other - what we call the operating metrics to sustain the growth and the profitability of the company. This is definitely the new era in terms for BITA. And I think at this moment, we're very confident to say that we're ready to capture that. Thank you.
Yeah, it's very helpful. Thank you again.
Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, we are now approaching the - to the end of the conference call. I will now turn the call over to Bitauto's President and CFO, Mr. Andy Zhang for closing remarks. Please go ahead sir.
Okay. Once again, thank you for joining us today. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions. Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to talking with you in the coming months.
Thank you. Thank you for your participation in today's conference. This concludes the presentation. You may now disconnect. Good day.
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