Rightmove has unveiled a double-digit rise in turnover and an operating profit margin of 76% as average revenue it receives per advertiser rose.
However, while traffic grew for the 16th consecutive year, leads were actually 7% down last year, Rightmove reported this morning.
Also reporting to the stock exchange this morning was OnTheMarket, which confirmed that Chancellors is now listing its properties with it and that it has achieved a total of 243 new branch sign-ups within the last ten days.
Rightmove said its revenue rose 11% to £243.3m in 2017. Underlying operating profit before share-based payments was up 11% to £184.4m.
Its underlying operating margin increased slightly to 75.8% (up from 75.5% in 2016).
Meanwhile, the firm’s average revenue per advertiser (ARPA) rose 10% to £922 per month, with 20,427 customers – a record, and up 2%. Of this number, 17,626 were agency offices, up slightly from 17,462 the year before.
In 2016, average revenue per advertiser was £842 per month.
Rightmove said that 45% of independent agency customers now spend over £1,000 per month, up from 36% a year ago.
As a result, revenue in the company’s agency business was the main driver of growth, up 10% year on year to £185.2m.
Its new homes arm increased sales by 16% to £39.5m.
ARPA for newspapers back in 2007 was around £2,500 per month, suggesting that Rightmove still sees plenty of room to grow this figure.
Meanwhile, chief executive officer Peter Brooks-Johnson, who took over from Nick McKittrick after he retired in May 2017, hailed record customer numbers.
He said: “The UK public has once again moved with Rightmove, spending 11.7 billion minutes on Rightmove platforms in 2017.
“Our customer numbers increased to a record high of nearly 20,500, testament to our aim to provide customers with the most effective marketing exposure and the highest quality leads, as well as helping to drive efficiencies within their businesses though tools and support.”
Home movers visited the portal over 1.5bn times in 2017, an increase of over 4% on 2016. A total of 43.6m leads were generated last year, 7% down on 2016.
Rightmove acknowledged in this morning’s results that it operates in a competitive environment, but did not specifically name any competitors.
However, analyst Anthony Codling called Rightmove’s operating profit margin of 75.8% “outstanding” and said that last year OnTheMarket had not impacted on Rightmove’s “market position or market power”. Codling said Rightmove was not a cheap stock but investors appreciate it as the market leader who “rarely puts a foot wrong”.