Foxtons has reported a 4.1 per cent increase in its group revenue in 2015 to £149.8m although its profits dipped by 2.6 per cent to £41.0m.
In its report to the City this morning it says revenue in 2015 grew in all segments - sales up 3.4 per cent, lettings up 2.3 per cent and mortgage broking soaring 31.8 per cent. A strong lettings business generated 46 per cent of the group revenue.
During last year it opened seven new branches, bringing the total at year end to 58; another seven are promised this year.
The company says it performed well during 2015 generating revenue growth across all business segments - and it says it “significantly outperformed” despite a slump in a sales market that was slow to recover after the general election.
A statement to the City from Foxtons chief executive Nic Budden reads: “Our successful branch expansion has supported growth as well as providing us with a wider, stronger network across London. We finished the year with 58 branches, of which over 80 per cent are now outside central London (Zone 1). Since the year end, we have opened a further four new branches with three more scheduled for later in the year.
“This positive performance, together with our strong cash flow generation, has enabled a 13.4 per cent increase in total dividends proposed of 11.0p per share.
“Looking ahead, the London residential property market continues to be highly attractive both in terms of sales and lettings although it is too early to predict how transaction volumes may be impacted by recent changes to the tax regime and the short term political and economic uncertainty caused by the UK referendum on leaving the European Union. We have entered the new year with an encouraging sales pipeline, a strong lettings book and a clear strategy for further growth through our organic branch expansion.”
Foxtons’ performance is often seen as a barometer of the wider London housing market but it is also in the eye of the storm as agents vie for a slice of the capital’s transactions.
For example, Countrywide chief executive Alison Platt has made it clear that overtaking Foxtons is a target for London brands in the Countrywide fold.