The firm behind online property portal Zoopla enjoyed a 33 per cent increase in profits in the first half of this year.
Across all its platforms, which include uSwitch and money.co.uk, the group which is part-owned by Daily Mail and General Trust, received nearly 350 million online visitors, with 49 million visiting the group’s Zoopla property portal every month.
Boost: The firm behind online property portal Zoopla enjoyed a 33 per cent increase in profits in the first half of this year
Alex Chesterman, ZPG’s boss, said: ‘Our property division performed well across each vertical, helped by demand for additional products, cross-sell and new contract wins, including the continued return of agents to our portals.
‘Our comparison division also performed well with leads up across each vertical. Energy had an exceptionally strong first half as a result of ongoing optimisation of the consumer journey and extreme weather during the period, prompting increased switching levels’.
ZPG’s share price barely moved, up 0.06 per cent or 0.3p to 489.3p.
In the six months to 31 March, the group’s like-for-like revenues rose by 33 per cent to £156.9million. Profits rose by 33 per cent to £22.4million.
Revenues in the group’s property division increased by 34 per cent to £74.9million over the period.
Listings increased by 6 per cent to 982,000, while the number of estate agents on its sites rose by 7 per cent to 15,264 branches.
The group’s operating costs rose from £72.9million to £93.5million over the period. thanks to acquisition costs, and rising staff and marketing costs.
ZPG has decided not to declare an interim dividend for the period, ‘due to the Silver Lake offer made on 11 May 2018.’
Earlier this month the group revealed that Silver Lake had tabled a 490p per share offer for the group, valuing it at around £2.2billion.
Deal: ZPG’s burgeoning profits came as the group gears up to be purchased by US private equity firm Silver Lake Management
Mr Chesterman said: ‘We are excited about the prospect of working with Silver Lake and the opportunity this offers to our employees, consumers and partners as we move to the next stage of ZPG’s development and growth.’
The tie-up, which remains subject to shareholder approval, is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.