StockMarketWire.com - Rightmove posted a 10% increase in first-half revenue as advertising revenue growth offset the impact of a decline in branch numbers even as low-stock agency branches bore the brunt of a 4.6% drop in housing transactions against the first half of 2018.

Revenue for the six months ended 30 June 2019 rose to £143.9m amid stronger-than-expected average revenue per advertiser (ARPA), while underlying operating profit climbed 10% to £111m.

The ARPA growth and a 'meaningful increase' in the number of new homes developments offset the impact of a decline in branch numbers, the company said.

Looking forward, the company said it expected ARPA and low-stock branches to follow a similar pattern in the second half, with 'stable development numbers', adding it continued to be confident of delivering its full-year expectations.

With regards to Brexit, the company said it believed its 'strong market position', relationships with customers and the value embedded in its membership would continue to position it well 'providing that housing transaction volumes do not take a sharp downward turn'.

The company said it had returned £54m cash to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks in the period, down from £76.9m the previous year.

It announced it would pay an interim dividend of 2.8p per ordinary share, an increase of 12% year on year, on 1 November.





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