Rightmove shares slide after portal predicts agent downturn

Rightmove boss Johan Svanstrom says consumers continued to trust Rightmove as the place to go to help them make their move.


Rightmove showcased an uptick in both revenue and profit as it announced its full year results to the City but hinted at a potential decline in customer numbers for the upcoming year.

The cautious outlook caused shares to slide 3.9% which opened at £5.44 during early trading on the London Stock Exchange on Friday.

The portal reported a pretax profit increase of 7.7% to £259.8 million compared to £241.3 million the previous year. Underlying operating profit also saw a rise of 8% to £264.6 million from £245.4 million, while earnings per share improved by 5% to 24.5p from 23.4p.


Revenue surged by 10% to £364.3 million, attributed to estate agents upgrading packages and increasing usage of digital products.

Despite the overall positive financial performance, the company observed a 1.2% decrease in total membership, dropping to 18,785 from 19,014.

This reduction was primarily due to a 1% decline in estate agency branches and a 4% decrease in new homes developments since the beginning of the year.

Although traffic volumes to Rightmove‘s website remained resilient, the total minutes spent on the platform decreased to 15.4 billion from 16.3 billion in 2022, albeit still marking a 27% increase compared to 2019.

Subscription to Rightmove’s Optimiser Edge and 2020 packages among independent agents increased to 35%, up from 34% in December 2022.

The subscription rate for advanced packages among developers rose to 53%, compared to 42% in December 2022.

Johan Svanstrom (main picture), Chief Executive Officer, says: “In a year of economic uncertainty, consumers continued to trust Rightmove as the place to turn to help them make their move.

“Customers were able to choose from an expanded, more sophisticated product suite, to continue to drive business results in a changing market environment.

“Our financial performance in 2023 reflects the strength of our business model and our platform network effects.”


And he adds: “The results are underpinned by the commitment and talent of the Rightmove team, who are focused on innovation and delivering continuous improvement for our customers and consumers.

“We reshaped our strategy during 2023, setting out a plan to further digitise the property sector, expand our business, stretch our brand and accelerate the financial performance long term. We are looking forward to 2024 with confidence and to delivering further value to all stakeholders on our platform, progressing the ambitious Rightmove strategy.”

andrew fisher rightmove
Andrew Fisher, Rightmove

Andrew Fisher, Rightmove Chair, says: “In keeping with our policy of returning free cash to our shareholders, £201.7m (2022: £197.7m) was returned:  £130m through the share buyback programme, and £71.7m through dividend payments made in May and October.

“The Board remains confident in our ability to deliver sustainable returns to shareholders and is recommending a final dividend of 5.7p per share for 2023 (2022: 5.2p). The final dividend will be paid, subject to shareholder approval, on 24 May 2024, taking the total dividend for the year to 9.3p (2022: 8.5p).”

And he adds: “Our mission remains to continually innovate, to make property moving easier and simpler by giving everyone the best place to turn to – and return to – for access to the tools, data and expertise to successfully enable their move.

“Whilst continuing to focus on our core business of the UK domestic property market, our ambitions are to further invest into, and digitise, our existing but smaller business areas.

“These include enhanced advertising in the commercial real estate market, capturing value from our unique property data, improving the rental journey and offering a range of mortgage related products.”

The Neg revealed in November that Rightmove was expecting ARPA (Average Revenue Per Advertiser) growth for the full year to be £112-116.


Adrian Lunn, Director at Sheffield-based Eddisons, says: “After a rocky year for the sector, there are signs that activity levels might start to pick up in the residential market. Property prices, which have been remarkably resilient, are in the ascendance and mortgage rates are starting to fall which all points to a more positive environment.

“Now that some of the recent uncertainty is coming out of the market, Rightmove looks well placed to continue to dominate as it seeks to digitalise the property sector.

“Ultimately, every estate agent has had to come to terms with the fact that properties must be listed online and Rightmove’s ever evolving platform is the stand-out example of how this can be done effectively.”

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