OnTheMarket has reported a “strong” year since floating on the stock market, with over 12,500 branches now under contract to it – to whom it is sending more leads than Zoopla.
The figure is up 7,000 since admission to the AIM stock market in February 2018, but membership growth looks to have stalled at 12,500 this year.
Publishing its results for the year to the end of January, OTM said that the new recruits were a mixture of agents on free trials and others going straight to contract. Over 6,500 branches had joined on short-term offers. A total of almost 1,000 branches had signed in the 12 months which were paying an average of £337 per month.
Of those new contracts, it said 57% are long-term commitments of three or five years with shares, and the majority of the balance are on one-year contracts with an option to convert to a long-term contract with shares. A total of 1.7m new shares have been issued to agents signing long-term listing agreements.
As at June 3 this year, the portal displayed over 650,000 residential property listings – around 65% of Rightmove’s stock and over 83% of Zoopla’s.
It said that in May this year it delivered an average of 102 leads to each advertiser. It estimated that Zoopla sent 92, while Rightmove sent 171. OTM put the price on its leads at £100 for 30.
However, today’s results do not seem to have shown growth in estate agency numbers this year, as it continues to report the same number, 12,500.
The results say that “as at 31 January and 31 May 2019, OnTheMarket had signed listing agreements with UK estate and letting agents with more than 12,500 offices”.
OTM refers to free short-term introductory trial offers, bringing down its average rate per advertiser. Group revenue was £14.2m, with an operating loss of £14.5m.
Losses before tax widened to £14.494m against £12.070m the year before. Admin costs spiralled to £13.639m, up from £3.887m the year before.
Cash balance was £15.7m at the end of January.
Chief executive Ian Springett said: “OnTheMarket has delivered a year of strong operational progress since its IPO in February last year.
“The Group’s strategy to build strong network effects and deliver increasing value to our agents is working. We are established as one of the leading portals and our progress to date has given us confidence that we can continue to build on this strong start and develop a market-leading, agent-backed alternative to Rightmove and Zoopla.
“We are benefitting from growing agent support and are strongly positioned to continue our growth in agent offices listing and in agent firms converting to becoming investors alongside long-term paying contracts.
“The Board believes that with the continued support of agents, we are well placed to deliver long-term value to shareholders.”
He added: “OnTheMarket is already indisputably established as one of the leading portals and as a go-to destination for the most serious property-seekers in the market.”
Today’s results also discuss its enlarged staff, with 58 now working in IT at the end of January against 21 the year before, and 50 sales staff as against 15.
The results also refer to the litigation with Connells brand Gascoigne Halman, saying that the latter’s appeal was dismissed this January, although residual non-competition issues remain to be resolved. It says that the litigation proceedings are now focused on the “recovery of material costs and damages suffered by the Group due to Gascoigne Halman’s breach of contract”.
Yesterday, shares in OTM closed up almost 4% at 105p – still well below the launch price last February when it raised £30m capital.