Rightmove profit rises, shakes off UK market woes

Online property portal Rightmove PLC (RMV.LN) said Friday that rising customer traffic and advertiser revenue boosted its first-half pretax profit despite an uncertain U.K. housing market.

Rightmove said it made a pretax profit of 98.1 million pounds ($128.6 million), up from GBP87.5 million for the year-earlier half. Revenue rose 10% to GBP131.1 million.

Online traffic grew 5% to average 139 million visits a month. Rightmove said 1.2 million U.K. residential properties are advertised on its portal, giving it a "significant stock advantage" over its competitors.

Average revenue-per-advertiser, or ARPA, rose GBP76 from the year-earlier half to GBP987 a month, Rightmove said. The company forecasts full-year revenue-per-advertiser growth of GBP80.

"The continued stable membership numbers and our subscription advertising model, together with the strength of the Rightmove offer for both customers and consumers, give us confidence in delivering expectations for the current year despite muted sentiment towards the U.K. property market," Chief Executive Peter Brooks-Johnson said.

Rightmove raised its interim dividend to 25.0 pence a share from 22.0 pence the prior year.

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