Rightmove upbeat after revealing a 39% surge in profits
PRoPERTy website Rightmove yesterday brushed aside concerns over the housing market as it reported a 39 per cent leap in half-year profits and said trading was holding firm.
The group delivered profits of £24.5 million in the six months to 30 June in a sharp recovery following a slump in interim results last year.
Rightmove enjoyed its best ever March for buyer activity and said home hunter interest remained high into the summer months, while it added group trading continued to grow in July and August in line with the half-year.
“This gives us grounds for confidence that revenue will continue on an upward path, given our underlying subscription model, and that our plans for 2011 will deliver further growth in the average spend per advertiser,” said chairman Scott Forbes.
But there has been increasing unease over the housing market, with recent industry price surveys suggesting the bounce back is coming to an end.
Rightmove’s half-year figures showed robust interest from homebuyers during the halfyear, with page impressions up 22 per cent on its websites to 3.9 billion.
However, there is concern that actual transactions are remaining subdued, with lending figures earlier this week showing the number of home loans approved for house purchase dropping for the second month in a row in July.
Rightmove said its trading should weather flat or modest falls in house prices – although it could be at risk of sharp falls in home sales, which would hit estate agents. Its revenues rose 26 per cent to £42.3m as the number of agents advertising on the site rose 4 per cent since the start of the year.
The group said the estate agent industry was recovering after the property market slump, with companies expanding by opening new offices and firms that quit amid the crisis now returning to the sector.
The estate agent industry is appears to be recovering