In no uncertainty about its leadership position in the UK, Rightmove has reported revenues of £107.9m for the first half with operating profit up 21 per cent to £80.6m amid record traffic and engagement.
In the first half of the year the portal reports it attracted a record 765 million visits, up 15 per cent on last year, resulting in consumers spending 6.3 billion minutes on Rightmove.
The company claims a market share of traffic across both desktop and mobile at 77 per cent with the mobile component higher at 81 per cent.
It says Rightmove increased the number of high-quality leads it generated for its customers to 25.7 million with average revenue per advertiser (ARPA) up a record £90 to £830 per month on the same period a year ago.
“We gained over 200 new customers in the period to reach an all-time high of 19,981 agents and new homes developments, and continue to be the only place to see virtually the whole of the UK property market,” says Chief Executive Officer Nick McKittrick.
“Rightmove has 40 per cent more residential properties than on any other portal.”
He says Rightmove was visited over 750 million times in the first half of 2016, up 15 per cent on last year, as consumers continue to turn to the platform first to search and research “virtually the whole of the UK property market”.
“With the recent launch of our new search technology we are now delivering an even faster and richer experience for consumers to ‘find their happy’ from the 1.1 million UK residential properties advertised on Rightmove.”
McKittrick says the economic outlook is more uncertain due to the result of the EU referendum.
“However the visibility provided by Rightmove’s subscription model along with the value provided by its products and the strength of the Rightmove brand and traffic gives us confidence in delivering expectations for the current year.
“To help our customers drive more efficiencies, we introduced the next wave of market share analysis tools within our popular market intelligence software ‘Rightmove Intel’ along with the capability for multi-branch agents to easily see metrics at branch and area levels.
“Our tools have become embedded in the industry over many years of use and, in an independent survey, over 50 per cent of agents say our software makes them more efficient not just in marketing but in other areas of their business as well.”
McKittrick adds its acquisition of predictive analytics company Outside View will see the launch of an enhanced product using the companies’ combined knowhow and Rightmove’s unique dataset in tandem with its Local Valuation Alert product.
Acquired in May for £2.0m, Outside View has developed an algorithm that identifies the most likely potential sellers in a local area enabling agents to more accurately identify and market to them.
The founding shareholders will be remaining with the business.
- New Homes ARPA increased by £128 year on year to £1,120 per development per month with the growth being driven by the sale of additional advertising products, including email campaigns, and by increases to core membership prices. The number of developments is up 1 per cent since the start of the year at 2,447
- Other businesses The overseas advertising business continues to grow with over 50 million searches in the period and record overseas customer numbers of 2,664. Rightmove now has around 250,000 overseas homes advertised for sale in over 100 countries, up 18% on a year ago.
- Property comparison and background check toolset is now the de facto standard for valuers in the surveying industry, used by all leading surveying firms in their day to day operations. Each month over 100,000 comparable reports are completed by surveyors using Rightmove’s tools.
- Revenue grew to £107.9m (2015: £93.1m) up 16% on the previous year with all business areas experiencing year on year growth. The Agency business revenue increased by £11.3m year on year, driven by growth in spend on additional advertising products and packages, as well as membership fee price increases.
- Underlying operating profitincreased by 17% to £82.3m (2015: £70.3m) with underlying operating margin(1) increasing to 76.3% (2015: 75.5%). Underlying costs in the first half increased to £25.6m reflecting increased investment in people and site functionality and infrastructure.
- Cash generated from operating activities was £82.1m (2015: £67.6m), representing a cash conversion ratio of over 100%.
- Continued policy of returning all excess cash flow to shareholders through a combination of share buybacks and dividends, returning £66.0m (2015: £52.9m) in the period.
- Underlying basic earnings per share) rose 19% to 70.3p (2015: 58.9p), with basic earnings per share increasing 24% to 68.4p (2015: 55.2p).