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Rightmove announces major rise in revenue and profits

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Sat 02 Mar 2019

Rightmove announces major rise in revenue and profits

Rightmove this morning announced a 10% rise in revenue along with an 11% increase in operating profits for last year.

The portal had revenue of £267.8m, on which it made an operating profit of £198.6m. The sums were up respectively from £243.3m and £178.3m in 2017.

The rise in revenue was driven by growth in both Rightmove’s agency and new homes business, with membership up very slightly to 20,454.

Average revenue per advertiser (ARPA) was up £83 per month to £1,005. Rightmove said that ARPA is “continuing to grow” and that it is confident of making further progress this year.

CEO Peter Brooks-Johnson said: “The resilience of our customer base is shown by our stable membership numbers, with particularly notable growth coming from new homes developments.”

While revenue from new homes grew 17% last year to £46.2m, agency contributed easily the most revenue at £201m, 9% up from £185.2m in 2017. The actual increase in revenue from estate agents was £15.8m per year.

There was a slight 2% drop in estate agency branches at 17,328, down from 17,626 the year before. Rightmove said that reflected “slightly tighter trading conditions” for agents in the second half of 2018.

Brooks-Johnson said in his strategic report: “Our continued progress is testament to our unwavering focus on the UK property advertising market and the huge effort Rightmovers [sic] have made to build our business in partnership with our industry customers.

“We remain confident in our ability to deliver further growth as we continue to shape the UK property market, and innovate to make our marketplace simpler and more efficient.”

Rightmove reported a rise in traffic with visits to the site up over 4%, averaging nearly 132m visits each month. It said that its portal had virtually the whole of the property market in one place, with 1m UK residential properties advertised on Rightmove, more than any other UK portal.

Rightmove said: “With visits to our platforms growing for the 17th consecutive year we continued to increase the exposure of our customers’ brands and properties.

“This exposure generated over 42m leads for our customers. This was down 3% year on year mirroring the fall in property transactions as a result of a slightly cooler housing market in 2018.”

Rightmove said the total dividend for last year will be 6.5p per share. The final dividend of 4p will be paid on May 31.

This morning’s report reveals that Rightmove’s CEO had a total pay package of £1,490,178 last year, including salary, cash and shares bonuses, and long-term incentive. Its finance director had a total remuneration package of £1,110,553.

Analyst William Packer at Exane BNP Paribas said this morning that Rightmove’s results showed healthy growth, but noted “weakening agency numbers”. Exane rated Rightmove as “outperform”.