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Storm Clouds Gather For Rightmove

Rightmove plc RMV Despite a 19% rise in the interim dividend, today’s half year results from Rightmove contain stark warnings about future trading. On the surface all looks rosy with revenue up by 16%, operating profit by 21% and basic earnings per share by 24%. Traffic growth has been strong with visits up by 15% and time per visit rising by 9%.  Average revenue per advertiser has risen strongly to £830 per month and Rightmove still lists 40% more UK properties than any other portal The sky seems cloudless but as Rightmove freely admits, it is not.

The first warning signs to which it draws attention are that although first half transactions rose by 12%, they actually fell in quarter 2 on a year by year basis. Customer numbers since the start of the year have risen by only 1%. The company expects a reduction in the number of agency offices or New Home developments following a reduction in the number of housing transactions.  Increased competition is expected to “impact” revenue growth, causing it to lose potential audience, advertisers and demand for additional advertising products.These problems will also be increased by what it describes as “new or disruptive technology and changing consumer behaviour, as will the economic uncertainty caused by the EU situation.

So far however, things have held up, with July trading being in line with the first half.

(Please note that our sponsor and author, may be regarded as a tiny, tiny competitor of RMV. We have endeavored to remain, as ever, objective)

Renishaw RSW The Chairman says he is pleased to report results revealing a fall in revenue of some 12% for the year to the end of June. Everything else has followed suite except for the dividend which gets a small uplift from 46.5p per share to 48p. Profit before tax has slumped from £144.2m to £80m and earnings per share are down from 167p to 94.9p. I wonder who writes the Chairmans scripts.

St. James Place STJ enjoyed record fund flows during the half year to the 30th June and is increasing its interim dividend by 15% to 12.33p per share. Operating profit rose from £265.3m to £284m.


Smurfit Kappa Group SKG A strong first half saw EBITDA grow by 8%, with especially strong volume growth in the Americas. Second quarter profit before tax was up by 27% and by 28% for the full half year. Revenue however rose by only 1% in each quarter..

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