Rightmove Plc, the leading UK property portal reported it’s 1st half results for 2013 with strong and consistent growth across all key performance indicators.
Traffic as measured by Hitwise in the first 6 months of 2013, totaled 7.2 billion page impressions served on the site (excluding mobile platform) up 22% on the same period last year.
This level of traffic represented a market share of 81% of the top 3 UK property portals. This compares to 83% share a year ago. This slight loss of share shows that Rightmove is continuing to face competition with the balance of traffic across the other two portals growing at 40% over the same period. Clearly Rightmove continues to hold the dominant position, but with a resurgent property market the competition is seeking to engage consumers new to the property market.
The revenue from the operation amounted to £67.2 million in the first 6 months of the calendar year up 16% as compared to 2012HY. A year ago the net growth in revenue of £10.9 million represented a growth of 23% this year the almost identical net increment revenue growth of just under £10 million represented this lower growth rate – such is the challenge of adding ever more growth.
The efficiency of the business as measured by EBIDTA % continues in a seemingly relentless manner with Rightmove continuing to set the benchmark by which other property portal aspire, delivering 73% margin, only very slightly down on the same period last year.
The customer base for the company grew by 646 in the last 6 months to stand at 18,916 at the end of June. There would have been an expectation of a growing base of customers are a result of the improving real estate market in the UK so the result is not surprising; added to which the company undertook a significant campaign in the final 3 months of the half year to attract new offices which are described as ‘low stock’ offices, it is reported that this initiative represented over 60% of the net growth in customer numbers.
The APRA performance continues to reflect success in converting existing customers to the premium services. It is reported that 55% of independent agencies are now subscribing to one of their packages up from 44% a year ago.
As in the case of the total revenue the percentage increase in APRA is down on prior year the net incremental APRA is up by a similar £80 per month per office.
Overall Rightmove continues to deliver; as Nick McKittrick (CEO Rightmove) says of the results
Rightmove’s popularity continues to grow. Traffic to our website and mobile platforms is up over 20% on a year ago reflecting our ongoing investment in our brand and our technology coupled with an improving housing market. This has generated a record number of enquiries for our customers. We continue to develop our services to provide the most engaging experience for home movers and the best advertising platforms for our customers to reach the UK’s largest home moving audience and to win more business.
The only slight concern within the deeper financials was the rise in net trade receivables. At 30 June they stood at £19.5 million up from £16.5 million at the year end and compared to £15.4 million a year ago. Given the healthier climate of the UK real estate industry as stated in their financial statement (“strong actions taken by our customers over the last five years, particularly with regard to cost reduction, have left them more able to withstand challenges in the housing market“) one might have expected that receivables would have only risen modestly in line with revenue or agent numbers and might have actually reduced with agencies benefiting from a stronger property market.