Asia markets tentative ahead of Opec meeting

Wednesday 2.30am GMT Overview Markets across Asia were treading cautiously on Wednesday, following mild overnight gains for Wall Street, a weakening of the US dollar and as investors turned their attention to a meeting between Opec members later today. What to watch Oil prices are in focus ahead of Wednesday’s Opec meeting in Vienna. The […]

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Banks, Financial

RBS emerges as biggest failure in tough UK bank stress tests

Royal Bank of Scotland has emerged as the biggest failure in the UK’s annual stress tests, forcing the state-controlled lender to present regulators with a new plan to bolster its capital position by at least £2bn. Barclays and Standard Chartered also failed to meet some of their minimum hurdles in the toughest stress scenario ever […]

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Barclays: life in the old dog yet

Barclays, a former basket case of British banking, is beginning to look inspiringly mediocre. The bank has failed Bank of England stress tests less resoundingly than Royal Bank of Scotland. Investors believe its assets are worth only 10 per cent less than their book value, judging from the share price. Although Barclays’s legal team have […]

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Currencies, Equities

Scary movie sequel beckons for eurozone markets

Just as horror movies can spook fright nerds more than they expect, so political risk is sparking heightened levels of anxiety among seasoned investors. Investors caught out by Brexit and Donald Trump are making better preparations for political risk in Europe, plotting a route to the exit door if the unfolding story of French, German […]

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Dollar rises as markets turn eyes to Opec

European bourses are mirroring a tentative Asia session as the dollar continues to be supported by better US economic data and investors turn their attention to a meeting between Opec members. Sentiment is underpinned by US index futures suggesting the S&P 500 will gain 3 points to 2,207.3 when trading gets under way later in […]

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Categorized | Property

Zoopla wins back customers from online property rival

Posted on November 30, 2016

Zoopla chief executive Alex Chesterman has branded rival OnTheMarket “a failed experiment”, and said that his property site was winning back customers at a record rate.

OnTheMarket was set up last year, aiming to compete with Zoopla and Rightmove, the UK’s two biggest property portals. It allowed estate agents to list their properties more cheaply than rivals, but insisted that any agents using its site could only use one other portal. As the number two in the market, Zoopla was expected to suffer most.

However, reporting full-year results on Wednesday, Mr Chesterman said Zoopla had won back 600 agents. “This is the beginning of the end for OnTheMarket,” he added.

Zoopla’s property services revenue rose 9 per cent to £87m in the year to September. The company said it had 927,000 properties listed on its sites, up almost a tenth on the year. It said it had more than 23,000 estate agents and other customers using its products, with numbers growing for 18 consecutive months.

But Mr Chesterman was cautious about the property market’s prospects. “Brexit has caused uncertainty, which has naturally led to a slowdown in property sales, but the rental market remains very strong.” He added that rental deals outnumber property sales by a ratio of three to one.

Overall Zoopla, which also owns the PrimeLocation and uSwitch sites, reported revenues of £198m, up 84 per cent on the previous year partly due to an acquisition. Pre-tax profits rose 38 per cent to £46m while earnings per share rose from 6.2p to 8.9p.

The dividend was increased from 3.5p per share to 5.2p.

Zoopla’s shares, which have risen by more than a third in the past year, outperforming those of rival Rightmove, gained more than 7 per cent on Wednesday morning.

Alongside the results, Zoopla unveiled two new investments. The company has put money into Neos, a home insurance company which uses connected devices such as alarms, smoke detectors and water detectors to monitor what is happening in the home.

It has also bought Technicweb, which provides web design and hosting services to estate agents.

“We now have significant cross-selling potential with over 23,000 partners taking at least one of our services,” said Mr Chesterman, who added that the company was “stronger and more diversified than ever”.