Shares in property listings site Zoopla fell 2.74 per cent to 223.7p in mid-morning trading, after it posted figures showing its membership fell 16 per cent to 16,076, in the six months to the end of March, down from 19,239 during the same period a year ago, while the number of estate agents signed with its website fell 23 per cent to 12,449, thanks to the launch of rival OnTheMarket.com (more on which later).
Revenue rose 10 per cent to £42m, up from £38.3m in the same period last year. Adjusted revenue per advertiser rose 13 per cent to £340m, up from £301m in the first half of 2014.
Additionally, website traffic rose by 11 per cent during this period with average monthly visits at 44.2m.
Why it's interesting
OnTheMarket.com, the new property website from the Agents’ Mutual group of estate agents, launched earlier this year as an an apparent threat to the “duopoly” enjoyed by Rightmove and Zoopla.
Today's results showed the company has suffered from the "one rival" rule, which forces OnTheMarket members to choose between Zoopla and Rightmove. But Zoopla said it expects this to be short lived.
"Since the end of the period, UK agency churn has slowed significantly with a net loss of 106 UK agency members in April," it said.
"We expect agency churn to return to normal historic levels over the coming months as we remain by far the best value digital marketing proposition available to property professionals in the UK."
And as part of its battle against OnTheMarket, Zoopla recently snapped up home services comparison website uSwitch as part of its bid to become "the most useful resource for consumers and the most effective marketing partner for professionals across the property space".
What Zoopla said
We had a strong first half with both revenues and profits seeing double-digit increases and average revenue per agent at record levels despite the reduction in members during the period.
Our audience continued to grow with average monthly visits during the first half at 44.2m and mobile devices accounting for over 60 per cent of these, up 34 per cent year-on-year.
We have also reached a significant milestone of over six million app downloads as consumers continue to choose our websites and mobile apps as their primary resource when researching the property market and looking for their next home.
The number of estate agents signed to Zoopla fell – nevertheless, the revenue it makes from each advertiser on its website rose during this period. The company has also strengthened its arsenal with the acquisition of home services comparison site uSwitch.