Rightmove plc's revenue for the 12 months to 31 December 2009 fell by 6 percent from £74 million to £69.4 million as a result of estate agency branch closures in 2008.
While revenue was down, the number of advertisers at the portal increased by 6 percent to 17,664. The company says "stringent cost management" brought underlying operating profit up by 2 percent from £41 million to £41.9 million. 48 percent of agents chose to buy additional advertising products at rightmove.co.uk.
Managing director Ed Williams had this to say about the company's financial results:
"We have continued to invest to give our advertisers an even better proposition, whilst everyone else has been pulling back. The success of our marketing, quality of property presentation, and effectiveness at promoting an advertsiser’s brand to a very targeted audience has been complimented by the loyalty of our customers. In this challenging property market, we have given our customers a way of spending dramatically less than they used to in traditional media.
We are reporting operating margins are up for the year, mainly a result of early action in 2008 to bring down costs in terms of headcount. We have managed to achieve this whilst improving website performance and enhancing the support options to our advertisers through our customer service teams and regional seminars."
rightmove.co.uk had plenty to celebrate in terms of website performance. The number of email enquiries sent to agents doubled from 5.3 million to 10.6 million. The company says rightmove.co.uk's market share amongst the four largest UK property portals reached a record high of 83 percent in the last month. The portal also achieved one million visits in a single day for the first time on 25 January 2010.
With such strong figures, it's unsurprising that Williams is confident the addition of property listings to Google Maps in the UK won't effect rightmove.co.uk.
"They've already been doing this in the US and Australia and the market leaders there have seen no negative impact," he told dailymail.co.uk. "Their service produces chaos - it's like finding a needle in a haystack. Plus, they don't charge advertisers so they're not competing for our revenues."