OnTheMarket’s first formal annual figures released since its flotation reveal losses in what it describes as its “transformational year” but also show growing numbers of member agents and traffic to the portal.
Revenue was actually down in the most recent year to £16m from £17.8m the year before; there was an operating loss of £10.8m compared to £1.2m 12 months ago, but this includes £14.7m of exceptional items, many linked to the flotation.
It reported an operating profit of £3.9m, up from £2.3m a year ago.
The Average Revenue Per Advertiser figure - key for assessing the performance of portals - was reported at £235, the same as the previous year, based on the number of agents and properties listed at the end of January. Both agent numbers and the total of visits were down on the year before at that late-January stage, prior to the flotation of the company.
OTM also suggests it will pursue income from agencies in dispute with the firm in earlier years. Today’s statement says: “It is the intention of the company to engage with these customers in due course, to seek either payment of both fees outstanding and further fees as they fall due or to reach a compromise position such that historic debts are held in abeyance and potentially waived in the future in return for entering, and honouring, a new long term listing agreement with the company. As at 31 January 2018, should all arrears have been recovered, this would have amounted to approximately £5.9m.”
All of the period formally reported on this morning came before the flotation but much of the company's statement to the City this morning looks at what it calls ‘post period end highlights’.
These reiterate previously-announced figures that of May 25, OTM had signed listing agreements with more than 8,500 offices - up by more than 54 per cent since flotation.
Traffic to the portal in the year to the end of May was 42.2m visits, compared with 21.9m in the same period in 2017.
The firm has also rolled-out its first outdoor advertising campaign with over 1,500 sites in London in May, in addition to a TV campaign that month.
Its field sales team has also more than doubled to 32 and its IT team has grown from 21 to 40.
OTM plc chief executive Ian Springett says the portal company is “in the midst of a transformational year” and “continuing on our journey to create a genuine alternative to the leading incumbent portals.”
“In addition to accelerating growth in the numbers of agents, property listings and portal visitors, we also remain focused on developing new consumer and agent products and services, targeting revenues from new segments of the property market and developing new strategic partnerships.
"We are strongly encouraged by the growing agent and customer support and feedback to our proposition, and I look forward to carrying this momentum forward in our first financial year as a listed company."