- Property portal Rightmove booked a 43% slump in first-half profit and scrapped its interim dividend after the Covid-19 crisis prompted it to offer discounts to its customers.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through June dropped to £61.6m, down from £108.1m on-year, as revenue slid 34% to £94.8m.

Rightmove had offered customers a 75% discount for April, May and June.

The company said it had experienced continued traffic growth, with visits up 5% on-year, helped by a stronger-than-expected increase since the reopening of the property market in England in May.

Stamp duty holidays offered by the UK government, it added, gave grounds for cautious optimism that housing transaction levels would increase from the low point in the second quarter.

'Following the reopening of the housing market on 13 May housing market activity is at record levels, with evidence of new home hunters coming into the market with changing needs as they reassess their priorities and further incentivised by the temporary stamp duty holiday, chief executive Peter Brooks-Johnson said.

'Despite the current strong market we're mindful that potential economic challenges and further Covid restrictions in the second half of the year make it hard to predict how sustained the increase in activity will be.'

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