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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

OnTheMarket furloughs over 20% of staff and defers credit arrangements

OnTheMaket has this morning announced a raft of what it calls ‘mitigating measures’ to help it survive the Coronavirus crisis.

These include furloughing 32 staff, equivalent to some 22 per cent of the workforce; it's also reducing the number of temporary and sub-contracted IT workers from 17 to six; and there's a 20 per cent cut in pay for senior management and the remaining workforce. 

Board members have also taken what the company calls a “voluntary waiver” of 20 per cent of their remuneration.

The company's statement to shareholders at 7am also revealed it had reached "agreements with trade creditors and with HMRC to defer payments due" - no details of these have been given.

As of March 31 the portal had cash of £8.5m and - excluding those unspecified deferred creditor payments - no borrowings. 

The company says: "The measures the group has taken are designed to allow revenues to cover ongoing costs, whilst rescheduling certain creditor payments to conserve cash in the short-term so as to enable the group to provide its agent support measures."

Last month OTM announced a 33 per cent listing fee discount for invoices issued in the three months starting April 2020 - but only to those OnTheMarket customers on full tariff contracts.

The company says it's too early to determine the precise impact of the Coronavirus crisis on its perfromance but admits "revenues will be impacted in the short-term."

There is no date for the release of OTM's preliminary results for its financial year, which ended on January 31; it says these will be published "in due course" as any impact from COVID-19 becomes clearer. 

Acting chief executive officer Clive Beattie says: "Our main concern at this time is for the health and safety of all our colleagues and I would like to thank them for their dedication and professionalism during this time.

"We continue to do all that we can to support our customers, many of whom are also our shareholders, through this period. Agents across the country are reconsidering their portal marketing choices and we continue to engage with agents attracted by our unique agent ownership model and our strategic commitment, as the agents' portal, to a policy of low, fair pricing, both in the short term and sustainably into the future.

"The steps we are taking to conserve cash and to assist agents are appropriate to ensure we weather the current crisis and come through ready to provide our customers a market leading, fairly priced portal service."

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