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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Connells Group pre-tax profits dip, blaming "difficult market conditions"

Connells Group - which now says it’s the country’s largest estate agency by market share and numbers of homes sold - saw its pre-tax profits dip from £31.5m to £28.9m in the first six months of this year with estate agency business down 3.8 per cent.

A trading statement released this morning says total income increased 1.1 per cent compared to the first half of 2017, despite a subdued sales market.  

The statement says the number of exchanges for the group’s agency business - down 3.8 per cent - was “comparing favourably to HMRC figures showing a 5% reduction in transaction levels.”

Revenue within other divisions continued to increase:  Mortgage Services was up 14 per cent, Lettings income up 6.5 per cent and Survey & Valuation up 4.3 per cent. 

“Our business has produced generally positive results in a challenging period for the housing market. Consumer sentiment remains subdued, impacted by economic and political uncertainty” says Connells Group chief executive David Livesey. 

The company says it has played “a lead role in developing new digital technologies” such as the sales progression tool MIO, while the business also saw new branch openings and acquisitions “and is looking for new opportunities to acquire sales and lettings businesses.” 

“Connells Group has strong fundamentals and we are well positioned to maintain our market leading status, providing the high quality expertise our customers expect from the largest estate agency in the UK – measured by both market share and number of houses sold – and regardless of fluctuations in market conditions.”  

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    I’m not sure if I would put Connells at the head of digital advancement! It will be interesting to see the full years results as I know the last few years were bolstered by large share sell offs and I don’t think there’s anything left in the cupboard. What Connells are good at is slashing their cost base quickly and decisively and I would imagine this has already happened /is happening. Probably necessary but loosing good staff is a perilous solution

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