Zoopla revenues rise as it seeks to fend off new rival OntheMarket

Zoopla made 13 per cent more money from each advertiser on its site in the six months to the end of March, boosting its revenues to £42m. Pre-tax profits rose 12.4 per cent to £18.4m.

It is Britain’s second-largest property portal after market leader Rightmove.

New rival OntheMarket launched in January, backed by some of the country’s best-known estate agency brands including Knight Frank and Savills. The new portal controversially limits its members to advertising on just one other website — meaning they have to choose whether to stay on Rightmove or Zoopla.

The number of estate agents advertising on Zoopla has fallen from 16,261 this time last year to 12,449 at the end of March; it lost a further 106 in April.

Zoopla last month launched a fightback, buying price comparison website uSwitch for £160m in a bid to broaden its business into other home services.

Speaking about the results Alex Chesterman, chief executive, said that Zoopla had had “a strong first half . . . despite the reduction in members”.

“Since the end of the period, UK agency churn has slowed significantly,” he said. “We expect agency churn to return to normal historic levels over the coming months.”