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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Voluntary pay cut taken by agencies’ senior management

Staff and senior management at a large franchise company running a string of major High Street agency brands are taking voluntary pay cuts during the Coronavirus crisis.

The Property Franchise Group has six agency brands - national lettings service Martin & Co, west country agency CJ Hole, London operation Ellis & Co, plus Whitegates serving the Midlands and north of England and Parkers operating along the M4 corridor, as well as hybrid operation EweMove - and says that in line with government demands all are effectively suspended from working.

Some of its staff are furloughed while others - including the board and some staff at head office - are taking unspecified voluntary pay cuts. 

The group has also slashed contributions from franchisees towards a national marketing fund.

In a trading statement TPFG says: “The board is confident that the company is well positioned to weather the wider economic damage caused by COVID-19 because of our nil debt, strong balance sheet, and sufficient cash headroom, as well as the fact we are a business heavily weighted towards lettings, with its recurring income streams … the company also remains strongly cash generative … the board is confident that The Property Franchise Group is in a strong position to emerge well-positioned for growth when market conditions begin to return to normality.”

It’s the closing stages of Ian Wilson’s tenure as chief executive of TPFG and he says: ''We have focused all of our efforts on intensive support to our franchisees, which at this time largely takes the form of advice and guidance rather than tactical financial assistance. We have also been working hard to negotiate with suppliers on franchisees' behalf. 

“Under the leadership of incoming CEO Gareth Samples, the board's focus in the period ahead will be on navigating the challenges this unprecedented situation brings and supporting our network. Over the longer term we have the utmost confidence that the strength of our franchise model and clear strategy means that we are well positioned to resume a growth trajectory and to add value for all our stakeholders."

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