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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

ZPG reports 53m average monthly visits to websites and apps

ZPG says it anticipates a strong 2018 according to a trading statement ahead of the company’s annual general meeting today.

The firm - which now has Zoopla and PrimeLocation portals, uSwitch, Money, and Hometrack amongst its services - says it has made a good start to the year.

Websites and mobile apps attracting 53 million average monthly visits during the October to December period.

In the property division of its activities, the trading statement says the company “is encouraged by the ongoing demand for its best-in-class marketing, software and data products as we continue to help our partners market, manage and maximise their business opportunities. During the period, ZPG signed multiple new long-term portal listing and data services agreements with some of the UK's largest estate agents and mortgage lenders.”

Recent contracts have included Foxtons, Dexters and YOPA, plus LSL, Connells and Countrywide.

It says that since the start of 2018 it has refinanced its debt through the issue of new bond and bank facilities. 

“The new debt package strengthens the company's financial position by offering it increased financial flexibility, providing a more stable and appropriate capital structure and allowing it to secure attractive interest rates for the next five years” it says. 

Some analysts have already suggested ZPG’s refinancing moves could be a precursor to further acquisitions, although this is not mentioned in this morning’s statement.

"We have had a good start to the 2018 financial year with continued strong consumer traffic to our platforms and strong partner demand for our products. We are delighted to have signed further multi-year agreements with a number of leading estate agencies and mortgage lenders. And the addition of [recent acquisitions] Money and Calcasa to our portfolio has materially strengthened both our consumer offering and partner proposition across the business” according to Alex Chesterman, the company’s chief executive.

ZPG may have been buoyed by a Daily Telegraph business pages recommendation in which the paper told readers, before the release of this morning’s figures: “ZPG counts 25,000 estate agencies among its customer base, and reports that some are returning from its rival OnTheMarket website.

“There is a theory that a slower housing market means fewer branches, which would be bad for business. A counter view is that agents will have to invest more to shift their stock.

“In addition to listing homes on its portal, ZPG offers various software, printing and data add-ons. An average customer buys 1.4 of these products and the company is bullish it can carry on cross-selling.”

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    "25,000 estate agencies among its customer base". Interesting to see no qualification/clarification from EAT about this. One would think that in the pursuit of accuracy EAT would be quick to point out that this figure relates to "partner members" rather than agency membership. These "partner members" include those agencies who have not subscribed to the Zoopla offering, or indeed have moved away from them. "Shame on them" you may think, but I feel if EAT is to be considered a reliable commentator on matters affecting our industry, which its selected correspondents rants regarding OTM have seriously undermined, it should re-consider its purpose.

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