Zoopla's share price rises as property group reveals strong full year results and sets confident outlook for next year

Catherine Neilan
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In Zoopla's world the property market is not slowing down (Source: Getty)

Confidence in Zoopla's future buoyed the group's share price to more than 245p this morning, taking its market cap to more than £1bn for the first time in months.

Shares in the FTSE 250-listed firm rose more than 2.5 per cent to 245.98p in early trading, taking its market cap to £1.028bn.

Revenue at Zoopla, which owns uSwitch and Prime Location as well as the eponymous property search firm, soared 34 per cent to £107.6m in the year to 30 September. Statutory profit rose 20 per cent to £25.4m, while adjusted profit rose 30 per cent to £34.8m.

Adjusted EBITDA rose 23 per cent to £48.7m for the same period. Adjusted basic earnings per share rose 29 per cent to 8.4. As a result, the dividend has jumped 127 per cent to 3.5p per share.

The group's net cash has dropped from £31m to a debt of £93.2m, from the acquisition of uSwitch, but this business is already proving its worth.

In Zoopla's world, the property market is not showing any signs of slowing down, and business is performing well despite a growth in competition.

There has been further growth in its membership numbers among house-hunters since the end of the financial year and is confident that trend will continue.

And uSwitch, which Zoopla acquired in April for £160m, is also paying off. As well as having contributed to the strong results for the reported financial year, it is expected to deliver "strong" results into the current financial year, "especially in energy where our recent collective switch saw record levels of consumer participation".

Founder and chief executive Alex Chesterman said: "It has been another transformational year for the business and I am very pleased with our performance... Traffic to our property platform remained strong with high levels of user engagement and we recently passed the significant milestone of over seven million downloads of our property apps."

He added: "The comparison services division outperformed expectations in the four months since the acquisition of uSwitch, with both the energy and communications verticals benefitting from our market-leading position and increasingly competitive consumer deals.

"We continue to innovate across both divisions of the business in line with our mission of providing the most useful resources for consumers when finding, moving or managing their home and being the most effective marketing channel for related business partners."

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