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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Leading agency refunds all Covid salary cuts plus furlough funds

Knight Frank has reported a record pre-tax profit and has reimbursed staff who sacrificed some salaries during the pandemic.

The agency - which has large commercial and consultancy arms in the UK and overseas, in addition to its residential wing - made a pre tax profit of £173.7m, up 23 per cent on the Covid-affected 2020 figure.

This was despite turnover dipping seven per cent to £512.7m.

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Alistair Elliott, senior partner and group chairman, says: “The firm’s agility and speed of reaction to the pandemic has enabled us to outperform our early financial expectations. This year has cemented our confidence in the firm’s global platform. At the heart of this is our partnership structure, which gave us the ability to plan and respond quickly. We have remained resolute in our focus on our people and the need to continue to invest in our business for the future.”

He continues: “Knight Frank initially took advantage of the UK government’s furlough scheme as well as asking all our people to make a salary sacrifice – precautionary measures taken in readiness for what the firm felt may lay ahead. Yet, with markets responding better than forecasted, we were pleased to pay back the furlough grants and reimburse our people’s salary sacrifice in full. Throughout the year, Knight Frank has remained focused on being a responsible corporate entity putting people first.”

The Knight Frank Group comprises more than 16,000 people across 384 offices in 51 territories, with  a combined annual turnover of in excess of £1.7 billion.

In addition to global and commercial property activities, the agency says the Build To Rent sector is one of its growth priorities for the year ahead.

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    An honourable decision. Agencies which have remained profitable (which is all of us?) should return covid cash back to taxpayers.

  • C B
    • C B
    • 01 November 2021 07:48 AM

    Totally agree. And some impressive numbers.

    Nice to see the good guys winning.

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    Out of a pandemic, a market boom was created that no-one expected or could have predicted. Measures (furlough, grants, loans, etc) were put in place to protect the industry. In the end, they weren't needed so why would any agency hang on to them and not repay them out of the all the unexpected profits made. Any firm not coughing up deserves to be named & shamed.

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    The markets responded better than forecast because of the STAMP DUTY HOLIDAY. And that has now finished. Back to normal.

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    • N W
    • 01 November 2021 11:58 AM

    some of us actually predicted during the first lockdown the market taking off (after about week 3/4 from memory) due to our own observations on the level of enquiries coming in and increasing week on week and having taken detailed research from behavioural economists at the time (despite many predicting 10/20/30% falls in prices at the time). These predictions were made even before stamp Duty was fully announced. However, Stamp duty then supercharged the market beyond everyone's wildest expectations.

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