The Property Franchise Group’s trading statement this morning reveals a huge 23 per cent rise in revenue for 2017 - £10.2m against £8.3m in 2016.
The PFG branch network now consists of 403 outlets - 283 traditional brands and 120 for hybrid agency EweMove.
Over the past year it has recruited six new franchisees for its traditional brands and 31 for EweMove.
Even so, the group says it remains heavily weighted towards lettings, which accounts for some 70 per cent of management service fees, and involves 52,000 tenanted managed properties.
"Our network continues to grow, with our traditional brands having performed very well, and benefitted from website improvements applied using insights gained from EweMove” according to chief executive Ian Wilson.
“These improvements generated 17,000 new business leads for franchisees from pay-per-click campaigns, with website lead volumes increasing between 200 per cent and 550 per cent year-on-year in quarter four of 2017” he continues.
The company says the trading losses incurred at its EweMove subsidiary in the first half of 2017 were substantially reversed in the second half of the year, during which EweMove traded profitably.
“Franchisee recruitment continues to be an area of focus at EweMove, particularly the number of experienced estate agents being recruited. The new managing director at EweMove, having joined in June 2017, has made a very positive impact, turning around profitability and supporting the business development of existing franchisees” says Wilson.
The firm adds that with the timetable for implementation of the letting agents’ fees ban pushed out to spring 2019, it does not expect there to be any adverse impact on trading for 2018.
“The Board believes that the Group's multi-brand strategy with an online offering provides a well-balanced exposure to the opportunities and threats which exist in a changing property marketplace and remains confident for the year ahead” says the trading statement.