Move Inc., the company that runs Realtor.com, saw a drop in revenues last quarter, as parent company News Corp. also took a hit.
Susan Panuccio, News Corp.’s chief financial officer, said in an earnings call Thursday that Move’s revenues had “declined 10 percent to $111 million, with real estate evenues down 5 percent.” She blamed the loss “almost entirely” on a customer-billing relief program, and said Move was still adjusting to a referral model.
Despite the tumbling revenues, Panuccio said traffic to Realtor.com was surging: The website had 86 million unique monthly users in June — up 18 percent on the same time last year.
News Corp., which owns a host of businesses on top of its staple of newspapers, saw quarterly revenues drop to $1.92 billion in the quarter — down 22 percent from the same time last year. The company purchased Move in 2014 for nearly $1 billion.
Revenues across the company’s digital real estate services portfolio, which includes Australia’s REA Group, were down 16 percent to $238 million, Panuccio said, noting a “decline in listings in Australia and the U.S.” On an adjusted basis, the decline was 13 percent.
Unsurprisingly, the pandemic loomed large over the Thursday call, and Panuccio said staff cuts had been made in the real estate side of the business.
News Corp. CEO Robert Thomson said the crisis had “irrevocably changed businesses — and our businesses — in expediting preexisting digital trends, challenging established business practices, and in prompting necessary in prospecton about work habits and the workplace itself.”
Discussing traffic to the company’s listings sites, he said the pandemic had also “prompted many families to consider their housing” in Australia, and noted similar trends in the U.S.
“We saw a significant improvement in profitability at Move, which runs the Realtor.com site, in the fourth quarter and for the year as a whole,” he added.
Write to Sylvia Varnham O’Regan at [email protected]