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OnTheMarket fails to excite on stock market debut

KREMER NS

OnTheMarket will start trading at 148p today, having failed to set pulses racing when it debuted on the AIM market on Friday.

Shares in OTM fell during their first day of trading. According to Hargreaves Lansdown, they opened on Friday at 163.5p and closed at 148p – a drop of around 9.5%.

The volume of shares traded was 118,288.

That compared with rival portal Rightmove, which ended the day down 0.56% at 4,230p, with 914,230 shares traded.

ZPG finished 0.61% down at 324.2p after 421,377 shares were traded.

OnTheMarket was not helped by the fact that its admission to AIM came at a time of market volatility, with the benchmark FTSE 100 share index falling again by about 0.5% on Friday following heavy losses in Asian markets on Thursday night.

US shares also fell steeply again, with the Dow Jones down by more than 1,000 points for the second time in a week on Friday.

Nonetheless, it was a disappointing debut for OTM as it finally brought its long-awaited stock market flotation over the line.

Investment magazine Shares rated it a “miserable start to life as a listed company” and pointed to a report from research group Edison which said the business was forecast to make considerable losses in 2019 and 2020 before returning to profitability in 2021.

It said: “It would be possible to deliver profits at an earlier stage by turning down the marketing tap, but that would not be in the interests of building a sustainable business.

“Our model indicates average revenue per partner agency (ARPA) bottoming out in the current financial year to January 2019 as new agencies are brought on board, then rising towards the level achieved by Zoopla, which is less than half that charged by Rightmove.”

Meanwhile, ZPG, the parent company of OTM’s rival portal Zoopla, made an announcement on the same day that it had hit record traffic levels in January 2018.

ZPG said that visits to its property websites hit a high of over 58 million visits during January, up 10% year on year, with mobile traffic accounting for 60% of visits.

It added that visits to its comparison websites rose to nearly 10m, up 8% compared to the same period last year.

Aside from Zoopla, ZPG owns brands including uSwitch, Money, PrimeLocation and SmartNewHomes.

OTM’s flotation was first announced last August when OTM said it hoped to raise £50m, valuing the business at between £200m and £250m.

It ended up conditionally raising £30m through the placing of new shares, some £20m less than originally expected.

OnTheMarket said it would have properties listed by over 5,500 estate agents’ branches on its portal when it floated.

A number of agents on OTM will still have to observe the One Other Portal (OOP) rule.

The portal will be dropping the stipulation for new joiners, and is also lifting its ban on online agents.

While new joiners and those with new contracts will be free to list on all three of the main portals – Rightmove, Zoopla and OTM as well as others – those agents on existing contracts will have to stick to the original terms.

The shares’ ticker is OTMP.

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Source:: OnTheMarket fails to excite on stock market debut