Despite the collapse in the housing market, Rightmove, Britain's most popular property website, beat forecasts with a 33% rise in 2008 operating profit and said it had seen a strong start to this year with double the number of email customer enquiries. The company said about one in five estate agents have left the industry in the last eight months and the number of homes sold last year halved compared to 2007.

  • Revenue grew 31% from £56.7m to £74.0m
  • Underlying operating profit* increased 33% from £30.7m to £41.0m
  • Underlying EPS up 27% to 23.8p (2007: 18.7p)
  • Restructure completed which will provide an estimated £5m savings in 2009
  • Average revenue per advertiser rose 26% to £307 per month at the end of 2008 (2007: £243)
  • 11.9m shares bought back at a total cost of £45m
  • Net debt of £16.9m (2007: net cash of £11.8m)
  • Proposed final dividend of 7.0p, making a total dividend of 10.0p for the  year (2007: 8.0p), up 25%

Chairman Scott Forbes said: "General property advertising spend will prove to have fallen dramatically during 2008. However, the compelling benefits of internet advertising and the continued migration of people online have allowed us to deliver another outstanding set of results with revenue, profits and earnings per share all increasing year-on-year."

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