LSL Property Services - which owns agency brands including Your Move, Reeds Rains and Marsh & Parsons - has reported strong profits and revenue for the first half of the year but says the sales market “will remain suppressed” for the rest of 2016.
Group revenue increased eight per cent to £151.4m and pre-tax profits soared 35 per cent to £8.4m. Lettings income went up by 11 per cent to £34m while the overall agency business revenue rose nine per cent.
In the volatile London market, Marsh & Parsons performed relatively strongly; it grew revenues 11 per cent to £17.1m while operating profits rose 47 per cent to £2.2m.
Sales transaction volumes grew substantially in the first quarter of the year across all LSL brands and throughout the country thanks to activities ahead of the stamp duty surcharge deadline but “Q2 saw a slowing down of transaction volumes in the run up to the EU referendum” the firm says.
“Whilst we expect residential sales volumes to remain suppressed in the second half, trends in other parts of our business are expected to be more resilient” says Simon Embley, LSL chairman.
“Our lettings business continues to perform well, now representing 29 per cent of total estate agency income. Mortgage cost and availability remain positive for the UK housing market with increasing distribution of products through intermediary channels which will support our growing financial services business.
“Whilst these are uncertain times in the residential housing market, the group has strong fundamentals with a robust balance sheet and relatively low levels of gearing. The business will adapt quickly as it has in the past and is well positioned to navigate the current market conditions” he concludes.