Proof that not all estate agents are struggling has come in the form of a cheque for £1 million given by the Andrews Property Group to its charitable shareholders this week, the largest sum it has donated for 14 years.
The size of the cheque indicates that its sales and lettings businesses and financial services operation have done well “in a challenging market” so far this year. The company also sold it surveying business in January for £4.3 million.
Andrews’ name is taken from a furniture company operated by entrepreneur and Oxfam founder Cecil Jackson-Cole during the early part of the 20th century. It then morphed into an estate agency business that he co-founded with Leslie Swain and Raymond Andrews in 1946.
Their descendants still have an interest in the agency, a business that last year reported a turnover of £37.2 million on which it made a profit – before tax and charitable donations – of £7.285 million.
The two charities it donates to have received £10 million so far since the current donation framework was set up in 2001.
“This dividend announcement shows the commitment and hard work of the entire Andrews’ family to ensuring that the foundations on which we were built remain relevant and life-changing,” says David Westgate, its Group Chief Executive.
“From day one, Andrews has ensured that the communities that we’re part of benefit from what we do. But we need to remain visionary and ensure that our work continues to be relevant and make a difference.”
Of the £1 million cheque, some £850,000 will go to the Andrews Charitable Trust, which funds a variety of national and local community projects including a programme underway to provide accommodation for young people in need of housing. The remainder of the cash is given to a Christian book charity.