A Strutt & Parker senior partner has dismissed speculation that the residential arm of his agency is about to be taken over by Bidwells.
Andy Martin has told Estates Gazette that: “We have just started a five year plan and I don’t want to give it to anybody else.”
He has also denied that commercial property elements of Strutts are to be sold to companies.
The remarks in EG come following the release of Strutt & Parker's figures for 2015, officially described as its best ever.
Turnover was up nine per cent to £111.3m (in 2014 it was £102.1m) while pre-tax profit was up 13 per cent to £27.8m (in 2014 it was £24.6m). But it was the commercial wing of the agency that led the charge.
“Our residential agency business was impacted by the [December 2014] unexpected hike in Stamp Duty Land Tax rates aimed at the higher end of the market, where we operate, as well as uncertainty created by the independence referendum in Scotland and, latterly, the UK general election" admits Martin.
In October Strutt & Parker announced the acquisition of Edwards & Elliott, a Surrey and Berkshire-based agency with offices in Ascot, Sunningdale and Windlesham. In July it acquired estate agency Roberts Newby, a Buckinghamshire-based practice with offices in Gerrards Cross and Chalfont St Giles.
“Are there areas we are downsizing? Not at the moment” Martin tells EG.
Stand out residential sales for the firm during the 2014-15 year included one of the largest and most impressive private houses in Notting Hill with a guide price of £24m, success by the Knightsbridge office selling 10 properties priced at £10m or more, and the sale of four substantial estates in Yorkshire, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire - each priced between £4.6m and £7.5m.
Strutts also sold Bantham Estate in Devon, comprising 21 houses, 716 acres, boathouses, moorings, oyster beds and an 18-hole golf course, for above the £11m asking price.