Foxtons has started a buy-back of shares from its investors - a way of rewarding shareholders after what has been a challenging year for the agency.
In October Foxtons said affordability issues and the December 2014 stamp duty change were to blame for transactions being at "historically low levels" with the suburbs performing more strongly than price central London.
Shortly afterwards, the new Countrywide chief executive Alison Platt told her group’s investors that overtaking Foxtons was the target for London brands in the Countrywide fold.
Foxtons says it has a pipeline of new branch openings lined up for the next 18 months; this year it opened seven, most outside of central London.
Here is the firm’s buy-back statement to the Stock Exchange:
The Board of Foxtons Group plc ("Foxtons") announces its intention to utilise part of its general authority to make on-market purchases of Foxtons ordinary shares in line with the Company's policy of returning excess cash to shareholders. The proposed share buy back will be funded from accumulated cash resources and will have no impact on any future ordinary and special dividend payments.
Share purchases will be effected on behalf of Foxtons by its brokers, Credit Suisse and Numis, and will commence from today in accordance with Foxtons' general authority to purchase ordinary shares granted by its shareholders at the Foxtons' 2015 Annual General Meeting and in accordance with all relevant regulatory requirements.