(Sharecast News) - OnTheMarket on Thursday reported a wider loss at the half-year stage as administrative costs climbed on the back of new investments in IT and sales employees.
The agent-backed property website operator booked a loss before tax of £7.1m for the six months ended 31 July, compared with a loss of £5.7m in the same period a year beforehand, as the new hires led to administrative costs rising by 23% to £14.8m.
In parallel, revenue increased by 15% to £8.0m after more estate agents signed up to the AIM traded company's new lower-priced, short-term contracts.
The addition of those contracts helped the company sign up 1,308 estate agency branches on new paying contracts during the period, with a further 1,038 having signed up by the end of September.
OnTheMarket said a dedicated new homes sales team had also been established to recruit housebuilders and broaden the company's property advertising base.
Chief executive Ian Springett said: "The challenging backdrop of relatively weak and highly uncertain market conditions for agents has undoubtedly slowed our progress. However, the ever-improving performance of the portal and the current level of take-up of both our long-term full-tariff contracts and our revised short-term offers provide grounds for optimism."
Analysts from Shore Capital said they expected OnTheMarket to pull off "very strong revenue growth" in the next two years before achieving operating profitability during its 2021 financial year, adding that they saw considerable scope for long-term share price upside.
OnTheMarket shares were down 2.10% at 81.75p at 1056 BST.
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