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20% Brexit exchange slump but agency partners get bonus boost

Knight Frank has reported a four per cent rise in annual revenues to £461m but a five per cent drop in profits to £152.6m - even so, its partners are to enjoy a bonus boost.

Turnover increased four per cent to £460.9m and the firm’s 550 partners will share a bonus of £84m, up from £80m last year.

This is despite the residential side of the business experiencing a 20 per cent fall in the number of exchanges on its UK houses since the EU referendum.

"In prime UK residential sales there has been a 20 per cent fall in exchanges since the referendum compared with the same period last year. While the EU referendum result clearly contributed to a downturn in pricing, sentiment and activity volumes, our experience confirms it is important not to overstate this impact" says chairman Alistair Elliott.

In the commercial property market, two transactions were aborted due to the Brexit vote; those that continued did so "at a slower pace as investors took time to assess the changing economic environment" says Elliott.

The bulk of the profit drop was down to the agency’s recruitment policy. "We have been increasing recruits strategically, more in the last year than for a long time. There is a lag between that and productivity reaching the levels we would like. There is also an ongoing requirement to constantly invest in the technology and digital arena" he says.

Turnover rose thanks to expansion in China, India and central London.

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