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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

OnTheMarket reveals financial losses but fast-growing agents and traffic

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."

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    It will be interesting to see how many agents ACTUALLY stay on board once the "free listing" period ends in Feb 2019 !! We'll soon see.

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    Looking at the revenue per agent they are obviously giving out loads of freebees and big discounts, actually saw a TV advert the other night, the first I have seen since the original launch, but still none of my clients know they exist when I talk portals to them

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    There is always going to lag on profits whilst you build the brand.I think some really encouraging numbers.Does anyone know what the payout to OTM is to be form Connells if they loose any appeal-which looks highly likely?

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    We have just signed our 3 branches up to the free listings with OTM.
    Coincidentally I received an email from Rightmove yesterday asking what I thought about RM and the other portals. I made it clear exactly what I thought about their year on year extortionate price rises and that we would be long gone by the time they got to their predicted £2500 per month per office.
    I genuinely hope OTM works so we all take the plunge and leave Rightmove.
    Hopefully not being naive but they have been taking the P for far too long.

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    • S S
    • 07 June 2018 11:01 AM

    B Mills - in total agreement - Looking forward to there being an alternative to Rightmove.

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    Yes fully agree.
    Rightmove think they have us by the you know what.
    Lets all stick together and bin them

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    Sadly Rightmove are now too powerful thanks in part to OTM, and also sadly OTM are so far off the mark and running on pennies compared with both RM and ZPG ,,, if they are relying on handouts from court cases and arrears to survive they are in more trouble than we thought, and as in a previous comment, how many will stick with them once the free ride ends? very few I bet, who do you know who goes to OTM web as a first call ? eeer like no one..... and finally lets not forget, whilst RM are a bunch of money grabbers, as an overhead of £1000 pcm its a very small part of an office overhead.

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    It is a gamble for OTM when the free period runs out but Rightmove reported to the Stock Exchange of their long term plans to charge £2500 per month per branch, so suddenly £1000 per month becomes the cost of a Senior Negotiator. The arrogance is take it or leave it, hopefully they will get more realistic with OTM growing but I am not holding my breath.

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    If you are a high street agent why do you need Rightmove Zoopla etc ?

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    It helps as a back up to all of the walk in custom we get.

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    The.
    Queuing up at my door too.
    22 Sales out of my small office in Scotland.

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    it's a year of monte carlo or bust in 2018. This is their last ditch attempt at breaking into the market

  • Frank Browne

    I have just been talking to an OTM rep and she quite rightly said that if OTM fails, the cost of Zoopla and RM combined would be more than the three portals combined should OTM flourish. It is in our interests to support them. We will see next year, it is not just about OTM increasing website leads etc etc. It is about the share being taken from the other two, otherwise, in my humble opinion it is just the movement of the market.

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