Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Rightmove post strong start to 2012

Rightmove this morning announced a bullish performance to its shareholders after hiking its prices to agents.

It said that the business continues to trade in line ‘with the strong start to 2012’, with Rightmove traffic setting new records and up 20% on the same time last year.

The interim management statement, covering January 1 to May 9, said that average revenue per advertiser ‘has grown strongly as a result of sales of additional advertising products and price increases’.

It reported that over 75% of agents are now taking at least one additional product and that over 30% of their spend in April was on additional advertising products.

The statement added that Rightmove’s operating costs remain low.

It concluded: “Subject to their being no significant decline in the UK housing market, the Board remains confident of meeting its expectations.”

In February, Rightmove reported its results for last year, highlighting a profit margin of just over 71%. It will be paying a dividend to shareholders for 2011 next month, on June 8.

Last week, its shares hit a 52-week high of 1,600p after analysts upgraded the property portal in advance of today’s trading update. The analysts said Rightmove’s returns to shareholders remained ‘very high’, with no signs of cost pressure.

Panmure Gordon hiked its target price to 1,780p, whilst Alex DeGroote said Rightmove is proving itself capable of delivering good earnings per share without any growth in volume or clients.

However, the shares quickly retreated from their peak and stood at 1,470 at yesterday’s close.

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