Foxtons has revealed that in the final quarter of last year its revenues were only £26m - down a quarter on the same period of 2015. Meanwhile for 2016 as a whole, revenues are down to £133m - 11 per cent less than the year before.
Even so, it says two new branch openings will go ahead as scheduled this year.
In figures to the City, the London-centric agency says adjusted earnings are expected to be some £25m for the year as a whole - that’s around 45 per cent less than in 2015.
The chief executive, Nic Budden, says this may just be the start of a difficult year. Here is his statement to shareholders:
“Despite a challenging year across the residential property markets, we have continued to make good progress in respect of our strategic initiatives, including building our presence in the private rental sector and new homes, and leveraging our technology using data analytics and digital marketing to enhance our customer proposition.
“We also opened seven new branches in 2016 and a further two branches in outer London are due to open in Q1 2017.
“Looking ahead, we expect trading conditions to remain challenging in 2017. Should current levels of sales activity continue in the short term, it is likely that 2017 volumes will be below those in 2016. Our balanced business model provides resilience against sales market cycles and we have a strong balance sheet with no debt.
“Our high-touch approach to customer service continues to be a key differentiator and as the most recognised residential brand in London, we are uniquely positioned to manage through the market uncertainties and take advantage of any change in conditions.”