An increased focus on the provision of financial services has helped boost the trading figures released today by LSL Property Services, owners of Reeds Rains and Your Move agencies.
The company tells shareholders today that its financial services division’s underlying operating profit increased 16 per cent last year to £13.5m while mortgage completion lending rose three per cent to £32.6 billion, with a total market share increasing to nine per cent.
The number of financial advisers, many in agency branches, rose eight per cent to 2,585.
The surveying division performance recovered strongly from the lockdown in first half of 2020 with the underlying operating profit in the second half up 30 per cent - making the full year figure show a rise of nine per cent.
The estate agency division profit rose eight per cent with the residential exchange pipeline at the end of last year being more than 65 per cent above the same date in 2019.
David Stewart, group chief executive, tells shareholders: "Our financial performance during 2020 highlighted the resilience and strength of our group. The work we have been able to complete on our strategy emphasises our exciting future, in which financial services will be our chief engine of growth and enhanced profitability.
"Our PRIMIS network is one of the leading service providers to mortgage intermediaries, whilst our heritage provides us with deep expertise in the provision of mortgage and protection advice to estate agency customers.
“The group has invested significantly in its digital capability, which was enhanced further by the recent acquisitions of Mortgage Gym and Direct Life and Pension Services, and we now have industry-leading technology available.
"However, I would add that we have been equally encouraged by the excellent performance of our estate agency and surveying businesses. In estate agency we are exceptionally well placed to benefit from the current strong market, having increased our market share since the end of the lockdown. Our surveying business is similarly performing extremely well, with opportunities to broaden its product set to lenders and customers.”