Rightmove plc (LON:RMV), the UK’s largest property portal, has announced its unaudited results for the six months ended 30 June 2021.
|H1 2021||H1 2020||H1 2019||Change vs 2020||Change vs 2019|
|Underlying operating profit(1)||£117.1m||£61.4m||£111.0m||+91%||+5%|
|Basic earnings per share||10.8p||5.7p||9.9p||+89%||+9%|
|Underlying earnings per share(2)||11.0p||5.7p||10.2p||+93%||+8%|
· Revenue up 58% on 2020, reflecting the growth in customer spending and ARPA over the first six months of 2021. Revenue is up £6m/4% on 2019, due to growth in Agency and Other revenues, partially offset by a decline in New Homes revenues
· Operating profit of £114.9m, up 86% on 2020 (2020: £61.7m) and 6% on 2019 (£108.2m)
· Underlying operating profit of £117.1m, up 91% on 2020 (2020: £61.4m) and 5% on 2019 (£111.0m)
· Basic earnings per share up 89% to 10.8p (2020: 5.7p), underlying earnings per share 11.0p (2020: 5.7p). Compared to 2019, basic earnings per share up 9% from 9.9p, underlying earnings per share up 8% from 10.2p
· Interim dividend for 2021 of 3.0p (2020: nil; 2019: 2.8p) per ordinary share
· £128.3m of cash returned to shareholders through share buybacks and dividends in the first half of 2021 (2020: £30.1m; 2019: £54.0m)
· Cash at the end of the period of £67.7m (31 December 2020: £96.7m)
· Average Revenue Per Advertiser (ARPA) (3) up 63% to £1,163 per month, our highest ever ARPA (2020: £712; 2019: £1,077)
· Relative to June 2019, Agency ARPA is up by £107 (11%), driven primarily by product purchases
· Strong uptake of our premium Optimiser 2020 package, with 16% of agents now subscribing to the package, up from 9% in December 2020
· This strong growth in Agency ARPA has been slightly offset by the New Homes market, where high demand has reduced one-off marketing by developers
· Membership numbers are broadly flat since the start of the year at 19,116; with 16,052 (+130) Agency branches and 3,064 (-211) New Homes developments (31 December 2020: 15,922 and 3,275; 31 December 2019: 16,347 and 3,462)
· Rightmove’s position as the place home-hunters turn to first was further strengthened, with market share of time on portals at 90% (4)
· Time on site averaged 1.7 billion(5) minutes per month over the period (2020: 1.1 billion; 2019 1.1 billion), reflecting Rightmove’s trusted brand and the strong property market. Site visits of 1.4 billion(5) (2020: 890 million; 2019: 845 million), up 56% year on year
· Continuous innovation for customers with the launch of our Advanced Listings product for New Homes developers, which has already been taken-up by over 21% of New Homes properties on site
· Our new Online Conditional Auction advertising product, which demystifies the conditional auction process for home-hunters, is now live. In response to the initiative, four additional auction providers will be integrated in Q3
· Innovation to give home-hunters increased financial confidence earlier in their search process, through our online mortgage journey. Potential borrowers sent over twice as many mortgage leads in H1 2021 as H1 2020, which have converted into three times as many Decisions in Principle as H1 2020.
(1) Underlying Operating Profit is operating profit before the share-based payments, related NI charge and tax adjustments
(2) Underlying EPS is basic earnings per share calculated using underlying operating profit
(3) Average Revenue per Advertiser (ARPA) is calculated as revenue from Agency and New Homes advertisers in a given month divided by the total number of advertisers during the month, measured as a monthly average over the six-month period.
(4) Source: Comscore, June 2021
(5) Source: Google Analytics
The first half of 2021 has delivered healthy ARPA growth, record low Agency churn and product innovation for both customers and home-hunters. Strong growth in Agency ARPA – up 11% vs H1 2019 – has been driven by our range of digital solutions enabling agents to compete effectively for new listings in the busy market. The buoyant New Homes market has temporarily softened New Homes ARPA, by 1% relative to H1 2019.
We expect the second half of the year to follow a broadly similar pattern, with good ARPA growth led by ongoing adoption of Optimiser 2020, broadly stable Agency branches and continued growth in our other businesses and the increased demand for properties continuing to impact the availability of New Homes development numbers.
Given the momentum in the first half, our catch-up investment in people following the recruitment pause in 2020 continues apace. While continuing lockdowns made recruiting more difficult than normal in the first half, we have now been able to increase the rate of recruitment – particularly in product development and sales – and this will be reflected in the H2 headcount.
With a strong pipeline of product delivery planned for the second half, a culture of continuous innovation and a commitment to continue to make home moving more digital for our customers and consumers, the Board is confident in delivering its expectations for the full year and beyond.
Peter Brooks-Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, said:
“The first half of 2021 brought further lockdowns, instilling in many a desire or motivation to move home, and the nation relied on us to help them to find their new life, with a record 10.4bn minutes spent searching and researching on Rightmove. The innovation we have delivered to help home-hunters find their happy, despite the restrictions, have been well used – with 200,000 video viewings and 160,000 rental viewing appointments made on the platform.
Our customers expect our platform to deliver the best exposure for their brand, extremely effective advertising, and to help them to grow their businesses. The strong take-up of our premium Optimiser 2020 package shows agents’ continued belief in the Rightmove platform, as they invest in our digital products and innovative algorithms to help them to identify more opportunities to succeed.
Constantly innovating our platform and finding and developing the best people are at the heart of everything we do. We are committed to further increasing our diversity by promoting Rightmove roles to under-represented ethnic groups and the LGBTQ+ community, and we’ll continue to support all our people through our mental health and wellbeing programme.
I’m excited about the range of our plans – including our new digital mortgage and rental journeys – as we continue to help to make home-moving easier in the UK.”
Rightmove will publish a pre-recorded audio results presentation at 7.30am today, followed by an audio Q&A session for analysts and investors at 9.30am with Peter Brooks-Johnson, CEO, and Alison Dolan, CFO.