OnTheMarket swings to loss as costs rise
OnTheMarket swung to a first-half loss as the property portal operator's growth strategy sent admin expenses through the roof, as it doubled the number of estate agent branches represented on its website and tripled its monthly traffic.
The AIM-listed outfit turned in a pre-tax loss of £5.7m, a 400% turnaround from the £1.9m profit the group recorded a year before, despite revenues climbing 1.45% to £7m.
Losses per share came in at 9.57p.
OnTheMarket told investors on Thursday that its loss was principally due to a spike in administrative costs, which increased 200% to £12m during the half as the company upped its marketing expenditure and expanded its sales and IT teams.
The group's average revenue per property advertiser fell to £153 from £194.
OnTheMarket said that, since its initial public offering in February, it had doubled its offices and listed properties, as well as having tripled its monthly website traffic.
As a result, management now expects to see continued growth in agent officer under listing agreements, consumer visits to its website and in agent leads.
Chief executive Ian Springett, said: "We said that we would be seeking to rapidly expand our agent base and this has grown from 5,500 branches under listing contracts at Admission to more than 11,000 as at 1 October 2018. We also committed to substantially higher marketing spend to increase traffic to the website."
"This has resulted in our highest ever traffic performance in September with 17.4m visits."
As of 0950 BST, OnTheMarket shares had dropped 5.75% to 129.60p.