Zoopla's Results Show Profit Down 71% As Pandemic Discounts Hit Bottom Line

October 11, 2021
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British #2 property portal Zoopla has released its accounts for the period from September 2019 to December 2020. The report shows the heavy impact on Zoopla's bottom line which came from pandemic related discounts the portal company conferred to its agent customers.

Although the accounting period was 15 months long, a step taken to align Zoopla's accounting period to that of its parent company ZPG, numbers for the period are significantly below those of the previous 12 month period.

  • Revenue was £87 million. This is down from £89 million for the preceding 12 months and -22.4% down on a like for like basis.
  • Profit for the period was £5.9 million compared to £16 million for the preceding 12 months and was down by 71.6% on a like for like basis.
  • Net assets at the end of the period were £165.8 million compared to £153 million at the end of the previous period. Cash and equivalents were £0.7 million compared to £14.9 at the end of the previous period.

The impact on Zoopla's bottom line may have hurt the company but it also helped the company convince agents to sign up with the portal.

The report noted that "Whilst the pandemic has had a material impact on the company's financial performance, this was primarily due to a strategic decision made to invest in its customers through the free of charge contracts."

In March 2020 Zoopla upped the ante in the battle against its perennial rival Rightmove by offering free use of its portal for agents agreeing to drop Rightmove. Zoopla also won a key PR battle over its rival by giving truly discounted listings packages well before Rightmove which was roundly condemned by agents for its pandemic response and initial discount package.

Although the latest missive from Zoopla did not include any new information about agent-customer numbers or anything around the money its agents are paying, going by recent press releases and releases from Rightmove, it seems that Zoopla and Rightmove both have between 19,000 and 20,000 agent customers on their books.

Elsewhere, the accounting report shows that Zoopla's hiring drive resulted in an average headcount that rose from 292 to 369. The company also disposed of print marketing firm Ravensworth and invested £19.3 million in new-build marketing and sales platform YourKeys.

October 11, 2021
Edmund got to know the world of portals and marketplaces working at Mitula Group (which became Lifull Connect after the buyout in 2018). He worked directly with hundreds of portals across the world in his role in the content department for three and a half years before transferring to the SEO department to understand the inner workings of listings sites. He joined Online Marketplaces as Head of Content in March 2020.

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