Property & Construction Daily

The Property & Construction Daily provides a sector-specific comment from leading analyst Alastair Stewart. His daily perspective provides a round-up of market statements, news, economics and views from the property and construction sectors.

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March 3, 2023

Fortnight ahead | RMV, HICL

Company news

Rightmove (RMV, 564p, £4,653m mkt cap)

UK’s leading residential property portal. FY (Dec) results. Rev +9%, £333m; u-lying PBT +6%, £245m; stat PBT +7%, £241m; u-lying EPS +9%, 23.8p; div +9%, 8.5p; net cash, £35.1m (FY 21, £43.0m).

Trading: Revenue boosted “as customers continued to upgrade their packages and to increase their use of digital products”. Average revenue per advertiser (ARPA) (4) +11% to £1,314/month; total membership nc, 19,014, agency branches down 178 and new homes developments up 223 since the start of the year. “Resilient traffic despite a significantly less frenetic property market than 2021”, with a total of 16.3 billion minutes spent on the platform in the year (18.3 billion). Time on platform 34% higher than the pre-pandemic record of 2019. “New Homes developers began the year with many developments fully sold off-plan and therefore not advertised. The fall in demand in the fourth quarter saw developers turn to Rightmove’s digital products to help to boost sales, which resulted in a 8% increase in the number of developments listed on Rightmove at the end of 2022 and increased take-up by developers of our products, particularly Native Search Adverts and Digital Marketing.  ARPA for New Homes grew by 11% to £1,513 in the year”.

Outlook: “While we remain alert to the ongoing economic uncertainty, Rightmove is not materially impacted by the property market cycle, other than in the most extreme circumstances. The strong ARPA growth in H2 2022, and the momentum it provides for 2023, gives us increased confidence in ARPA growth in 2023. We expect customer numbers to follow a similar pattern to that of the second half of 2022. The strength of our proposition, coupled with our on-going innovation, underpins the Board’s confidence in Rightmove’s outlook for 2023 and beyond”.

 

HICL Infrastructure (HICL, 158p, £3,202m)

Listed infrastructure investment group with diversified portfolio of 117 investments in UK, Europe and N America. Update. NAV as at 31 December, 165.8p, +0.6% since 30 September, and a weighted average discount rate of 7.2%. The 1.5p increase was predominantly driven by updates to actual inflation and deposit rates.

Trading: “Good progression of recently signed acquisitions. Exclusive pipeline of over £300m in high quality investment opportunities. The Company remains on track to deliver its target dividend of 8.25p per share for the financial year to 31 March 20232, and the Company delivered a cash cover of 1.03x in the quarter”. Net debt (2 March), £139m; the company has £362m of available liquidity.

Outlook: “We continue to see a low volume of core infrastructure transactions in the market, however, activity is increasing and we note the commencement of a number of opportunities since the beginning of the calendar year. Competition for high quality assets remains robust and is expected to continue to support asset pricing, notwithstanding higher risk-free rates observed across HICL’s core markets”.

 

w/c 6th March 23 - Building & Construction Sector Daily - Fortnight ahead
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