Rightmove revenues for the first half year are down 34% year over year.
The online real estate portal reported a pre-tax profit of £61.6 million in the first half year.
The board of the British company decides to suspend the interim dividend.
Rightmove plc (LON: RMV) said on Friday that its pre-tax profit for the first half (H1) of the current financial year was down 43%. It attributed the decline to the coronavirus pandemic that temporarily halted the UK housing market in recent months. Rightmove announced it had hired a new CFO for a £1.75 million package earlier this week.
The company’s shares were virtually unchanged in pre-trade trading on Friday, but rose by more than 8% when the market opened. Rightmove is currently changing hands at 625 pence per share versus 400 pence per share when it hit a low in March due to COVID-19. At the time of writing this article, the company is valued at £5.46 billion and has a price-earnings ratio of 32.05.
Rightmove reports £61.6 million profit before tax in H1
Rightmove announced a pre-tax profit of £61.6 million for the six months ended 30 June, compared with a much higher profit of £108.1 million in the same period last year. The UK real estate website also highlighted in its report on Friday that its revenue for the period fell to £94.8 million, a 34% year-on-year decline. In June, it warned that COVID-19 would lead to further revenue losses of £17 to £20 million sterling.
The company attributed the revenue shortfall to an unprecedented 75% discount it had announced to its customers for a three-month period from April to June. This move was aimed at minimizing the impact of the health crisis.
In terms of operating profit, Rightmove printed £61.7 million in the first half of the year compared to £108.2 million in the same period in 2019, and the UK’s largest online real estate portal accentuated a decline in its average revenue per advertiser from £1,077 per month last year to £712 per month.
Rightmove board of directors decides to suspend interim dividend
The London-based company said that signs of a rapid recovery were evident between June 1 and July 31 when the government relaxed COVID-19 restrictions. During this period, Rightmove said demand for properties for sale rose by 50%, while rental demand also increased by 20%.
The real estate company also expressed confidence that the positive trends will continue in the coming months. Its long-term prospects are rosy, he added. Rightmove’s board of directors decided on Friday to suspend the interim dividend in order to secure finances in the midst of COVID-19.