Rightmove defiant in face of expected OTM onslaught

The portal's CEO Johan Svanstrom says its revenue and profit figures are healthy despite the anticipated attack from OnTheMarket and its new American owners.


Rightmove says it is holding firm despite the expected onslaught from rival OnTheMarket and its new owners.

The property listings giant reported revenue growth of 8-10% and underlying profit increased by 7-8%, in a City trading update.

Rightmove said “the strength of demand for our products means that we now expect ARPA (Average Revenue Per Advertiser) growth for the full year to be £112-116, exceeding our previous guidance of £103-£105”.

“The overall full year outlook for 2023 remains at least in line with our previous guidance,” it said.

The momentum that we reported in July has continued.”

Johan Svanstrom, CEO at Rightmove (main picture), says: “The momentum that we reported in July has continued through the third quarter and beyond.”


The portal’s shareholders were recently warned to sell their holding in the business or risk suffering a 30% fall in value in the face of competition from OnTheMarket.

OTM is being bought by global property data group CoStar, subject to shareholder approval, in a move clearly designed to challenge the dominance of Rightmove.

Clear lead

US investment bank Citigroup acknowledged that Rightmove has a “clear lead” in the residential sector, which has helped it come through previous competition challenges “unscathed”.

But “the firepower and ambition of CoStar means it could be trickier this time”, Citigroup said.

Increase spend

CoStar plans to spend £46.5 million on sales and marketing in the first full year following the takeover, which is six times what OTM currently spends and more than three times the current annual media spend of Rightmove.

In July, revenue at Rightmove was up £179.5 million, and operating profit increased 7% to £129.5 million, with a 9% boost in underlying operating profit to £132.2 million.

ARPA increased by 9% to £1,411 per month, and the company maintained a strong market share of 86%.

One Comment

  1. Rightmove’s profitability is based upon annually increasing what users pay to be on their portal, but in 2024 will Rightmove be able to continue to ‘command’ these increases if OnTheMarket becomes a viable and far more useful and cheaper alternative?

    Though it is a digital advertisment business, increasingly portals are becoming distribution centres for property technology – and in this respect Rightmove ranks third and not first in terms of useful ‘things’ that pushes tangible profit into agents pockets. And that is the rub as CoStar Group is a super heavyweight in that boxing division, with a spending power that dwarves the UK centric Rightmove business.

    Of course Rightmove have over 50,000 clients so agents are not their only master – but they do contribute to a substantial vector of their annual 70% gross profit. Rightmove’s biggest problem is Rightmove, if you use your monopoly position to squeeze your clients, do not be surprised if they jump off the bus at the first opportunity that a cheaper and possibly better bus comes along. Or in this case a bullet train, intent on taking your position.

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