Rightmove sets new records on all fronts as profit margin rises to over 75%

Rightmove increased its profit margin to 75.1% last year, up from 74.5% in 2014, it announced this morning.

Revenue was up 15% at £192.1m, with underlying profit up 16% to £144.3m.

Rightmove’s agency business was easily the main contributor to overall revenue with a year on year increase of £17.5m to £147.1m.

Rightmove’s market share among the top four property portals was 77%, up from 74% at the start of last year.

Rightmove also raised its dividend to shareholders by 23% to 27p from 22p.

Average revenue per advertiser – mostly estate agents – was up at £754 per month compared with £684 the year before.

The number of advertisers on Rightmove was also up, by 2%, to stand at a record 19,752. The number of agents on Rightmove rose 3%.

The site had almost 50% more properties listed on it than any other portal, with 1.2m properties displayed on December 31, 2015.

Visits and leads were also up, with a record 1.3bn visits last year (a rise of 18%), with a record 49.8m leads generated for advertisers, compared with 42.8m the year before – a rise of 16%.

CEO Nick McKittrick said: “Rightmove celebrated its 15th birthday in 2015 and together with the support of nearly 20,000 customers, it has changed the way Britain searches and researches property.

“Our property stock advantage coupled with our brand strength and innovation have substantially increased our audience size and engagement this year.

“We attracted 200m more visits in 2015 as more people came to search and research the only place with a million properties for sale and to rent in the UK.

“We help our customers succeed by delivering great value marketing and by helping drive business efficiencies. We have grown our customer base by 2% during 2015 to a record high and continue to build broader relationships to support customers’ ambitions.

“We continue to break records at the start of 2016 having already generated over 9m leads for our customers.”

Chairman Scott Forbes said: “As we report on our 15th consecutive year of growth, I’d like to pick up on a theme raised in the Strategic Report: ‘Doing the right thing’.

“This uncompromising principle supports the ethos of the Group. The philosophy drives our high achieving network business and what we do for our trade customers on one side of the network and our web and mobile visiting consumers on the other side.

“It also extends to our focus and behaviours towards all stakeholders including our investors, analysts, employees and our Board.

“The team’s relentless focus and sensitive examination of our consumer experience has been the catalyst for continual improvements to site navigation and design.

“We aim for simplicity of use and an engaging experience.

“Of course our site traffic is in part a natural consequence of the best consumer proposition in the market, with almost 50% more listings than any other UK property portal, but it is in the main driven by the huge trust built up in our brand over the past 15 years.

“The team works diligently to maintain a site that delivers the desired information when it is wanted and in the form it is wanted and we achieved an enviable 99.997% level of site availability last year.

“Our nearly 20,000 customers have benefited from our ever-growing popularity with the British home moving public. We have delivered 15 consecutive years of site traffic growth for our customers and have been consistently ranked in the top ten sites in the UK irrespective of cyclical housing demand.

“Last year we attracted 200m more consumer visits than the previous year and generated a record 50 million leads for our customers. Rightmove’s popularity is showing no signs of letting up and we have already set new site traffic records this January.”

He went on: “Our customers have also benefitted from a continuous roll-out of additional advertising products to reach their audience of home sellers, landlords and home hunters.

“There is a wide range of choice and discretion to shape and reinforce brand identity on Rightmove to compete for business and market homes.

“There is also an increasing range of valuable tools, support and data available to our customers to assist them to operate their businesses more effectively and efficiently.”

Praising the talent and dedication of Rightmove staff, Forbes said Rightmove had become “the essential marketplace for home hunters to find their next home and for property advertisers to reach by far the widest possible audience”.

Ahead of today’s results, with their astonishing new records, shares in Rightmove rose £1.39 yesterday.

30 Comments

  1. Marketshare

    Always good to read something like this the same week we get a letter from Rightmove informing us that prices are going up.

    ‘Doing the right thing’ for shareholders but forgetting where the income comes from…..

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  2. Property Paddy

    “Rightmove increased its profit margin to 75.1% last year, up from 74.5% in 2014, it announced this morning.”

     

    Then you wonder why so many agents keep talking about supporting OTM or other portals. Clearly RM are not expecting any serious competition.

    All I can say is tread carefully RM if you don’t support your customer base now they will jump ship if something halfway as good comes along.

     

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    1. Digital Expert

      Isn’t that what OTM was supposed to be?

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    2. Woodentop

      Just imagine how that profit could be used on another portal that reinvested it for the benefit of its members. Not rocket science.

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  3. Zeus

    And the objective for next year? increase the profit margin to 77% get those letters sent out.

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  4. I want to believe

    And we are still getting anti OTM postings on the EYE ?

    I suppose we will be doing when RM are announcing profit percentages in the 90’s – Oh to be British.

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    1. harry hood

      it is precisely because of AM that this is happening – that’s the point

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      1. PeeBee

        It is with comments like this that you show your ignorance of reality – or refusal to accept it, for whatever agenda.

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        1. Digital Expert

          Well if the vast majority of the (admittedly small) number of agents who joined OTM left Zoopla, is it not the ignorance & lack of conviction in their actions that enable this behaviour?

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          1. PeeBee

            See my post below.

            Seeing as it’s Friday I suggest salt & vinegar be the appropriate condiments.

            It may make your words slightly more palatable as you eat them.

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            1. Digital Expert

              If you’re suggesting any OTM is ‘winning’ then I’d do some contextual analysis of those stats…

              RM are now able to have pretty much free-reign over their members if their other portal is OTM. They have absolutely zero negotiating position – OTM has no relevance to buyers current or future, Google figures (for Ian is yet to share anything remotely official or compelling) show this. They show organic traffic to be almost exactly where it was a month after launch and how much paid for traffic results in repeat visits I’d shudder to think.

              Agents, had they stuck with Zoopla – a ready made alternative to RM with branding & traffic to match, or nearly, match it – would be able to put up a braver fight against the evil beast (that nearly every OTM agent still pays every month) that is Rightmove. Now they’re back to where they started – over Righmove’s barrel. And they love it.

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              1. realLondonagent

                ‘Agents, had they stuck with Zoopla – a ready made alternative to RM with branding & traffic to match, or nearly, match it – would be able to put up a braver fight against the evil beast.’

                so DE what your saying is this:

                If OTM were not here, Zoopla would have dropped their rates and got into a price war with Rightmove with the Agents being the winners as they compete to win your business, offering lower and lower membership rates, because actually, we are the customers, and luckily RM and Zoopla don’t try and talk about consumers as if they have listed them for us.

                or

                Zoopla get bigger and bigger, and smarter and smarter so eventually they overtake RM for traffic and leads and THEN they reward their loyal customer base (us agents) by reducing rates, as they are now No1.

                 

                Dear shareholders…..

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

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                1. PeeBee

                  Point of note, realLondonagent –

                  Reality clearly isn’t a field of expertise for ‘Digital Expert’…

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        2. harry hood

          @PeeBee

          “It is with comments like this that you show your ignorance of reality – or refusal to accept it, for whatever agenda.”

          This very story shows Rightmove ramming their prices up which is exactly what AM OTM had claimed they would stop. So to say I am ignorant of the reality is clearly wrong. I think that your commendable determination for OTM to succeed is blinding the actual reality which this story shows.

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          1. Ric

            Give up Harry, RM have been ramming up prices well before OTM came along.

            like OTM or not, anything said on here has you and danny boy pointing a finger at OTM….. which is starting to make you look a real numpty when you offer no balanced view what so ever to your comments.

            OTM has not achieved what it wanted to just yet and by the looks of it may never do so without the support of more agents, but ………do you seriously think RM would have fixed fees or even lowered them if OTM had not launched?

            More so, before you go all Z on me, if Z had continued to gain ground they (Z) would have rammed their prices up also

            You do get what companies like RM have to do for their shareholders don’t you? Do you think they tell the City in annual reports, “this year we aim to earn no more or less, as increasing profits would be unfair”

            Anyway, I would love PIE to have a system on here where PIE has the posters name and adjacent their profession (ie Ric “Estate Agent” or PeeBee “Estate Agent” DigitalExpert “IT” danny “Portal Rep” etc etc) BUT the profession is verified in some way by PIE….. so we know we are not arguing with trolls.

            As no matter how hard I try I cannot not believe an ANTI-OTM agent who is so convinced OTM is damaging to be on and RM/Z is the best combination would go out of their way to have PRO-OTM agents drop OTM….. only a numpty would advise a competitor improve their marketing….. and you are not a numpty are you harry?

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            1. harry hood

              It’s this rude name calling which the PIE Editors wrote a letter to specific story to try to stop. It really doesn’t help further the argument.

              My point, (which I re-iterate because nobody seems to respond to it) is that the current formulation of OTM is damaging to UK estate agents. It has caused reputational damage, set agents against each other, and has squandered a large fortune.

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              1. Ric

                Bless you, sorry Harry – I apologise you feel I have been rude to you but I find it difficult to understand why you don’t respond to certain things…. so tell me…. in a simple yes and no format so I can be proven wrong:

                1. Did RM increase fees almost every year post 2005 and before the OTM launch?

                2. Would RM have increased fees regardless of the OTM launch?

                3. Are RM duty bound to try and provide improved results (Dividends) for shareholders year on year?

                4. Would an increase in Estate Agency Branches throughout the UK result in an increased revenue for RM?

                Just yes or no please…….. and I assume you will be answering with experience and not guess work…. my answer to them all with first hand knowledge is YES!

                Also why is OTM damaging to UK estate agents? Is it damaging us all, as you seem to speak for us all the way you say this so do you know it has effected us all and how?

                You say Agents are against each other, were we together previously? I cannot remember a time when I worked with other estate agents in my villages. If anything I think it (OTM) has joined a larger number of agents together I certainly have a whole new network of savvy property experts who I think I am only in contact with due to the OTM debate (including non supporters)

                I have always tried to talk of MY OWN experience with OTM or RM etc, but you are bold in talking of how OTM has given UK agency a bad name, how do you know? do/did you canvass and survey the entire UK? all agents etc? or has OTM effected YOU? and your business? if so how? and has your closest competitor suffered the same?

                You cannot speak for everyone when you say OTM has damaged UK estate agency as I have never heard anyone local to me say…. “I wouldn’t use an estate agent because of OTM” if nobody has ever heard of them which is half your argument when you harp on about what a waste of money – how an earth can you claim it is such a bad thing? Since when has something nobody has ever heard of, spoilt something so much?

                PS – I can be a right numpty at times! ask my staff, family and friends….. don’t take it too harsh “stars instead of a word” as danny used recently to describe me was like water off a ducks back for an estate agent…. we have all been called much worse as £960 per hour cash cows.

                Look forward to your yes and no answers to confirm how an earth OTM can be blamed for any of RMs success.

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                1. PeeBee

                  WELL SAID, Ric.

                  Proof – if ever needed – that you aren’t a right numpty all of the time, mon ami… ;o)

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                  1. Ric

                    Afternoon PeeBee, most of time I am…. I annoy myself! let alone anyone else.

                    danny made me chuckle, calling names in the other story and having a little blubber on this one.

                    Hope you are well and enjoying the weekend.

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                    1. Ric

                      Oops, sorry danny!………….. I meant harry was having a pot, kettle and black moment.

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          2. PeeBee

            harry hood

            Please read my post below in relation to Rightmove’s last FIVE YEAR TRADING RESULTS and comment again – this time with your head where the sun can shine on it

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            1. Woodentop

              Quote Harry …. This very story shows Rightmove ramming their prices up which is exactly what AM OTM had claimed they would stop.

               

              Er no they didn’t.

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            2. Property Pundit

              It’s Tuesday morning, a new month and I still can’t find HarryN’s response to PeeBee’s questions from Friday – anybody any idea?

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  5. smile please

    Not too late to check out the “Invisable Weekend” in the Arena …..

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  6. Trevor Gillham

    Im glad my 12k a month is not in those figures!

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  7. PeeBee

    Some may recognise the post below.  It is a repost of one I originally chucked into the room back in July, in relation to RM’s HYRs.

    Obviously I have rejigged the figures to the respective YEs in order to compare (rotten) eggs with (rotten) eggs – so here goes:

     

    OKAY… So lets look at these winning figures and the claims from those chucking the banana skins around that it’s all OTM’s fault that RM are steaming ahead of the game, shall we?

    ADVERTISER NUMBERS:

    2010: +2%;  2011: +1%;  2012: +0%; 2013: +4%;  2014: +5%;  2015 +2%

    LOWEST % GROWTH FOR 3 YEARS

    REVENUE PER ADVERTISER:

    2010: +23%;  2011: +17%;  2012:  +19%;  2013: +15%;  2014: +13%;  2015: +10%

    LOWEST % GROWTH FOR AT LEAST 6 YEARS

    REVENUE:

    2010: +26%;  2011: +19%;  2012:  +23%;  2013: +17%;  2014: +20%;  2015: +15%

    LOWEST (JOINT) % GROWTH FOR AT LEAST 6 YEARS

    UNDERLYING OPERATING PROFIT:

    2010: +39%;  2011: +23%;  2012: +26%;  2013: +19%;  2014: +20%;  2015: +16%

    LOWEST % GROWTH FOR AT LEAST 6 YEARS

    UNDERLYING OPERATING MARGIN:

    2010: 69.4%;  2011: 71.5%;  2012: 73.3%;  2013: 74.3%;  2014: 74.6%;  2015: 75.1%

    % STILL INCREASED DESPITE OTHER KRA DECREASES

    Anybody else, like me, wonder what these figures WOULD HAVE READ if OTM hadn’t stepped in and p!$$ed on the RM firework?

    And anyone care to forecast what they will be in 12 months time?  Or 6, maybe?

    You lot aren’t funny.  The appropriate word, I suggest, is laughable.

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  8. Woodentop

    ” ……Visits and leads were also up, with a record 1.3bn visits last year ”

     

    Considering only just over 1million transactions in the UK last year  ….. work out your own stats as to how effective web portals are!

     

    Its official if we didn’t already know it, RM is a Monopoly. Any agent not happy with their fees can now go to the monopoly commission?

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  9. Woodentop

    A little birdy informs me … RM are keen to support on-line agents ….. apparently if it gets to a certain point, as on-liners would love to happen, there is nothing stopping RM becoming a private sellers model. Look closely at who has been buying their shares!

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    1. Ric

      Nonsense (assuming you were being serious)….. look at the business model…… would private sellers pay the EA equivalent MONTHLY for as long as it takes them to sell their house!!!

      They (RM) would need to convert 100% of their listings over night in to private sellers and to keep the shareholders happy charge those private sellers the identical amount they do us to replace the monthly income currently gained… but without increase the running costs of RM.

      Do the maths….. RM want High Street Agency and Online Models to work an will not upset either business model.

      Do you think sellers would pay £400 a month to sell? not a one off, each and every month?

      Also, from a profit margin point of view , RM having say 15,000 agents as clients to manage, would turn in to say 800,000 clients wanting assistance on photo loading, tech issues etc, they would need to increase the work force tenfold not to become a horrible messy property website full of FSBO rubbish……

      In fairness, I would love RM to allow private listings as finally OTM would succeed, assuming even the likes of danny and harry would agree, that would be an own goal on RMs part and something which would have most agents agree that is biting the hand that feeds them.

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      1. Woodentop

        Actually RIC I agree with you however this snippet is doing the rounds. Currently we have the market share but if that was to be lost (we all say, never going to happen) then the shareholders who are in many cases corporates may change to that Hybrid mode that came up some months back i.e. countrywide. Yes that would pXXX off agents but doesn’t mean would leave, they won’t leave now!.

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