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Rightmove Posts a Sharp Rise in First Half Earnings

Rightmove (LON:RMV) posted a 40 per cent rise in earnings as the cost-conscious estate agents continued to move business onto its website.

Underlying operating profits were £27.9 million in the first half  as revenues increased 26 per cent to £42.3 million.

It is sitting on a cash pile of almost £23 million after selling its holiday letting business, which has allowed the company to resume its share buyback programme and pay a plump dividend of 5p a share, up 67 per cent on the year earlier.

Traffic on the Rightmove site rose 22 percent to 3.9 billion page impressions. The company said trading in July and August was in line with the first half, giving it confidence that revenue would continue to rise, despite an uncertain outlook for the housing market.

"We do not believe that such an outlook need be materially affected by flat or modest falls in house prices, provided that transaction volumes do not take a sharp downward turn and cause our customers to cease trading," Rightmove said.

The number of advertisers rose 7 per cent to 17,993 in the six months to the end of June, while spend per advertiser advanced 20 per cent to £365 a month.

Disclosure: The author holds no positions in the company

Disclosure: The author holds no positions in the company