18 March 2020
Rightmove plc, the UK’s largest property portal, provides the following update in relation to our plans to help support our customers given the current backdrop.
Given that this is an unprecedented situation it is very early to assess the potential impact on the UK property market and our customer base. However we anticipate that in a more uncertain environment it is likely that some of our agency customer base will have concerns over their cash flow until the situation becomes clearer. To help mitigate some of the cash flow burden during these times, we have today announced a payment deferral plan of £275 per month for up to 6 months for qualifying agents. Full details can be found at https://www.rightmove.co.uk/press-centre/press-releases/
We note that January and February agent numbers were in line with commentary made in our recent 2019 full year results and that traffic to our platforms has continued to be strong over the last two weeks.
It is too early to give guidance on any impact of COVID-19 on our financial results for the full year 2020 as at this juncture we do not have visibility on the impact on our customers over the coming months or the likely duration of recently imposed travel restrictions. However we note that we have a highly cash generative model and benefit from a very strong balance sheet. We are not currently buying back shares, but our overall policy of returning, over time, all cash generated to shareholders remains unchanged.
In terms of the operational management of our business, we benefit from being a digital business and all employees are now working remotely, in line with our business continuity plan.
Peter Brooks-Johnson, CEO, commented:
“At Rightmove we are doing everything in our power to rise to the challenges of COVID-19. Our focus, first and foremost, is on protecting the welfare of our employees and our customers. We also continue to run the business with a view to delivering long term, sustainable success and remain focused on the interests of all our stakeholders.”
Rightmove press office