The UK's Rightmove Plc has released its 1H results, showing its underlying operating profit is up 11% and operating profit is up 12%.
Our tenant passport proposition is in trial, in line with our strategy of providing more solutions to deliver efficiency savings for our customers
Guidance and outlook
Peter Brooks-Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, said: "In the first half of 2018 a record 1.1 billion minutes per month were spent on Rightmove. Home hunters continue to turn to us first to search and research in the only place you can see virtually the whole of the UK property market. Our restless innovation delivers the fastest and easiest way to 'find your happy' from the 1.2 million UK residential properties on Rightmove leading to consumers sending over 22 million enquiries in the period.
The continued stable membership numbers and our subscription advertising model, together with the strength of the Rightmove offer for both customers and consumers, give us confidence in delivering expectations for the current year despite muted sentiment towards the UK property market."
Half Year Statement
Our aim is to be the place where people turn to first and engage with most when searching, researching and moving home; to make it easy for them; and to provide the most significant and effective exposure for our customers' brands and properties. By combining our commitment to innovative software, data analysis capability and our unique view of the whole market, we also help our customers drive operational efficiencies and inform their business decisions.
Our brand building continues to be focused on national TV, through our partnership with Channel 4, augmented with highly targeted outdoor media, 400 branded taxis and continued partnerships with the Evening Standard and Time Out in London.
In the first half of the year Rightmove attracted a record 830 million visits, resulting in home hunters spending 6.5 billion minutes on our platforms. Our market share of traffic across both desktop and mobile was 74% with the mobile component even higher.
Rightmove keeps investing to deliver the most engaging experience for home movers and our culture of restlessness continues to drive improvement and innovation. In addition to the hundreds of updates to our platforms released each month, recent improvements and innovations include: 'Keyword sort', which allows home hunters to prioritise those properties which meet their diverse needs from the 1.2m homes for sale or rent listed on Rightmove and the alpha launch of our tenant passport, which aims to make the process of renting a property faster and more efficient by enabling potential tenants to collate in advance all the information needed for the process of applying for a tenancy.
We also continue to create innovative tools and products for our customers to help them be more efficient. The number of leads from our instruction lead products, Local Valuation Alert and Rightmove Discover, in the first half of 2018 increased by nearly 30% compared to the first six months of 2017 following the launch of Rightmove Discover in July 2017. Rightmove Discover uses predictive analytics to identify the most likely potential sellers in a local area within the next six months and markets to them on behalf of an agent.
The rollout of the latest version of the market-leading Surveyors Comparable Tool has begun. The tool is used by surveyors to support their valuations in the majority of all successful mortgage applications. The tool searches over 72m records to find comparable properties and is used 200,000 times per month. The tool now supports our surveyor customers' increasingly mobile ways of working both on and offline giving them flexible access to key data and allowing them to have more choice on where and when they work.
Looking forward we have begun early trials of a new tool to help customers become more efficient, 'Opportunity Manager', which analyses behavioural data combined with advanced agent training to help agents prioritise leads to make the most of the enquiries they already receive. Using our proprietary Data Services models, the tool allows agents to market to the high priority leads utilising an indicative valuation range.
In addition to the support customers receive from their dedicated Rightmove Account Manager we continue to help our customers with training. The first six months saw our webinar and seminar series augmented with sessions dedicated to helping customers prepare for the recently introduced GDPR regulations, in addition to our range of webinars covering diverse topics such as "How to create the ultimate listing", "Sales Progression" and "Cyber Security for agents". Our webinars and seminars were attended by nearly 11,000 agents in the first half of 2018. We now have over 10,000 agents registered on "The Rightmove Hub", our video on demand platform offering both the ability to catch up with seminars and events and live streaming of selected industry events such as The Property Ombudsman conference.
Evidencing the value property professionals see in our products and services, despite a subdued property market, they continued to increase their spend on Rightmove products and packages to help drive and support their business ambitions resulting in half-year ARPA increasing by £76 to £987 per month.
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