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Zoopla owner ZPG posts full year revenue growth as website traffic jumps

ZPG said it has been it “good start” to the 2018 financial year and "remains comfortable" with market expectations

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Zoopla lists thousands of homes to rent and buy in the UK

ZPG Plc (LON:ZPG), the owner of UK property websites Zoopla and Prime Location, posted a 24% increase in full year revenue on the back record traffic to its sites.

In the year to 30 September 2017, revenue rose to £244.5mln as demand in the housing market remained supported by low borrowing costs, healthy levels of employment and the government’s Help to Buy scheme.

READ: Zoopla owner ZPG mulling its options as Gocompare rejects “highly opportunistic” takeover offer

ZPG achieved record traffic of 648 million visits to its websites, of which 72% were via mobile devices.

Revenue was also boosted by acquisitions during the year, including TechnicWeb, Hometrack, ExpertAgent and Ravensworth.

Pre-tax profit edged up 4.1% to £48.1mln, including the cost of the acquisitions.

Post-period, the company bought UK finance comparison website, Money, in a deal valued at £140mln. Money lets users compare various financial services products, such as mortgages, loans and credit cards.

Alongside its full year results, the group announced a further expansion with the acquisition of Calcasa, a provider of residential property valuation in the Netherlands. ZPG will pay €30.0mln for the business on a cash-free, debt-free basis, with a performance-based earn-out of up to €50.0mln.

READ: Zoopla owner ZPG gains as it buys Money.co.uk and raises full-year earnings forecast

The deal is expected to be completed on December 1.

As a result of its acquisition frenzy, net debt increased to £191.5mln in 2017 compared to £146mln last year.

The company raised its dividend by 10% to 5.7p, adding that it has made a “good start” to the 2018 financial year and "remains comfortable" with full year market expectations.

ZPG said it is “encouraged” by the rate of progress on cross-selling products to its property partners as well as the rate of returning UK agents to its portals, which now stands at more than 1,000 branches. 

"Looking ahead, we are very excited by both the underlying growth opportunities in each division and the unique and unrivalled cross-sell opportunities we have created as we continue on our mission to be the platform of choice for consumers and partners engaged in property and household decisions,” said Alex Chesterman, founder and chief executive. 

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