Knight Frank is in talks with HM Revenue and Customs to return furlough money as a result of relatively strong trading, notwithstanding the Coronavirus crisis.
“In the spring, with a great deal of uncertainty as to what the next few months of trading would offer, our group executive board decided it would be prudent to furlough staff in the UK and claim the appropriate grants” says group chairman Alistair Elliott.
“But as we closed last financial year and began the new one, new budgets were formulated and plans developed. With markets stalled and our offices closed, it was the right decision for the time.
“Now as we pass the half-year point, income year to date is better than expected and, consequently, we have engaged with HMRC to establish the mechanisms upon which we will return these sums.”
The latest trading statement from Knight Frank - which has an extensive global consultancy and deals in commercial property as well as residential - says despite the pandemic it's continued to expand in a range of sectors including Build To Rent.
Group turnover has risen six per cent to £549.6m in the year to March 31 while pretax profits fell four per cent to £142.7m.
“For many years now we have not fully distributed our profits and this has allowed us to develop a strong cash reserve. We have underpinned by our business model of long-term organic growth, rather than acquisition, ensuring our balance sheet is not inflated with goodwill, nor burdened with debt” Elliott concludes.