Rightmove's profits gain on popularity of website

UK property website Rightmove posted a 23 per cent rise in annual revenue as the company profited from a trend towards online advertising and topped the list of most popular sites.

UK property website Rightmove posted a 23 per cent rise in annual revenue as the company profited from a trend towards online advertising and topped the list of most popular sites.

Revenues grew to £119.4m in 2012, compared to £97m in the previous year. Average revenue per advertiser was up 19% to £529 per month.

Underlying operating profit increased 26% year-on-year to £87.5m while underlying operating margin jumped to 73.% from 71.5%.

Rightmove reported a 31% jump in underlying basic earnings per share to 65.7p as site traffic increased 18% to 11bn pages.

The company issued a final dividend of 14p per share, bringing the total dividend for the year to 23p, a 28% increase from 18p in 2011.

Rightmove was in January ranked as the sixth most popular website in the UK among global brands including Google and Facebook.

"More than a decade of investment has established Rightmove as one of the UK's most popular online brands," said incoming Chief Executive Officer Nick McKittrick.

"We continue to invest in order to maintain our market-leading position and enable Rightmove members to promote their properties and brand in front of the most home movers. We've seen an encouraging start to the year with record traffic and enquiries and with a major new TV campaign launching next month, we're looking forward to that continuing throughout 2013."

Chairman Scott Forbes said a rapid growth in mobile internet has meant home movers have easier access to information on Rightmove, which led to more hits.

In turn, more property companies are opting to advertise online to improve their consumer reach, he said.

"With healthy growth in average spend per advertiser at the start of the year and assuming there is no significant deterioration in the UK housing market, the board remains confident of continued growth in the business in 2013," Forbes concluded.

Shares rose 1.57% to 1,750.00p at 11:25 Friday.

RD

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