Zoopla reports rising profits as £2.2bn takeover looms

The company behind property portal Zoopla has reported rising profits as it gears up for a £2.2bn takeover by US private equity firm Silver Lake Management.

Housing. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

ZPG reported a 31 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £29.5m in the six months to March 31, while sales rose 33 per cent to £156.9m.

ZPG saw almost 350 million visits across the group’s platforms, with the cold snap earlier this year prompting increased switching on the group’s comparison website.

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Boss Alex Chesterman said: “Our property division performed well across each vertical, helped by demand for additional products, cross-sell and new contract wins, including the continued return of agents to our portals.

“Our comparison division also performed well with leads up across each vertical. Energy had an exceptionally strong first half as a result of ongoing optimisation of the consumer journey and extreme weather during the period, prompting increased switching levels.

Earlier this month the group revealed that Silver Lake had tabled a 490p per share offer for the firm, valuing it at £2.2bn.

The deal has received the backing of ZPG’s largest shareholder, Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT).

Mr Chesterman added: “We are excited about the prospect of working with Silver Lake and the opportunity this offers to our employees, consumers and partners as we move to the next stage of ZPG’s development and growth.”

The tie-up, which is still subject to shareholder approval, is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.