Seek thanks $26m IT investment for record profit

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Seek thanks $26m IT investment for record profit

Achieved without a CIO.

Seek Group has credited significant investment in its technology and systems with a record full-year net profit of $189.9 million, six percent higher than last year and above analyst expectations.

Revenue was 20 percent higher than FY14 at $858.4 million for the full year, and the company is forecasting underlying profit in FY2016 of $200 million.

In its A/NZ business specifically, revenue grew 14 percent to $273.2 million thanks to reinvestment in Seek's products and technology, which according to CEO Andrew Bassat is delivering "strong outcomes for hirers and jobseekers".

"Our significant reinvestment in products and technology has delivered over 35 product and service enhancements in the last 12 months and has strengthened our platform," Bassat said in a statement.

Total visits to the Seek website were up 22 percent, mobile visits increased 47 percent, and visits to Seek's mobile apps were up 113 percent, the company said.

Its investment in products and technology resulted in a net profit loss of $26 million in the domestic business for FY15, but 14 percent growth in revenue to $273.2 million.

Seek Domestic's local capital expenditure grew by $6 million to $26 million for the fiscal year.

Its operational expenditure for technology in the year rose to $119 million, related to IT development costs for new products, IT software support costs, and employee training in new products, among other things.

New features and products launched during FY15 included its Advertiser Centre, Talent Search, and modifications to its search functions.

For FY16, Seek said it will build new enhancements into these capabilities, and continue to refine its search matching and algorithms, plus complete two "major" but unidentified launches.

Seek is sharpening its focus and investment in technology despite lacking a central technology head. It ditched the CIO role in mid-2013 and split the IT function between several roles.

Website development responsibilites went into the product business under Michael Ilczynski - now head of Seek Employment - and IT operations and infrastructure went under a new IT director role held by Mithran Naiker.

At the time of the 2013 restructure, Ilczynski told iTnews the removal of the CIO did not indicate a reduction in focus on IT. Instead, he claimed, the company was scaling up its investment into product development and IT.

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