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Rightmove’s profits rise despite market turmoil

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Rightmove’s revenue in the first half rose 10% to £131.1m, with underlying operating profit up 11% to £101m – an operating profit margin of 77%.

The interim dividend rose 14% to 25p.

Rightmove shares rose 1.1% in early trading.

Nicholas Hyett, Equity Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown: “Rightmove simply is the UK property market. If you’re buying a property it’s the first place you go. If you’re selling, a Rightmove listing is an estate agent’s most powerful weapon. Rightmove’s pricing power is huge.

The group  is constantly developing extensions to its service for customers to bolt onto the standard package. More importantly the price of that core package is steadily increasing and estate agents have no choice but to cough up. That’s an enviable position.

Our concern is that estate agents aren’t having a great time at the moment. Countrywide, the UK’s largest player, saw profit more than halve last year.

More concerning for Rightmove will be recent moves to shut branches – since Rightmove charges on a per office basis. It’s all very well arguing that estate agents have no choice but to pay, but if conditions don’t improve some will find they still can’t. Rightmove may have found the goose that lays the golden egg, but it needs to make sure it doesn’t’ squeeze it too hard.”




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