Property franchise giant Belvoir says the EU referendum vote last year failed to impact its business, unlike many of its rivals.
It also believes that the 3.3m EU nationals living in the UK will continue to have the same right to live and rent in the UK after Brexit as they do now, so there will be “no foreseeable reduction in the current level of demand for housing”.
The comments came in Belvoir’s 2016 annual report published today, which also reveals that it is now the largest UK property franchise firm following its purchase of rival Northwood GB in June.
“The Belvoir Group has not suffered any negative effects as a result of the EU referendum result,” the annual reports says.
Started in 1995 and floated on AIM in 2012, Belvoir now has 302 branches within its network, 110 ahead of its nearest rival, Martin & Co.
This includes a handful of corporate offices, 150-plus Belvoir franchisees plus the branches within its recent acquisitions.
These have been Newton Fallowell in the East Midlands with 30 branches and Goodchilds in the West Midlands with 14 branches, both in 2015. Then last year Belvoir acquired Nortwhood GB with 87 outlets.
This buying spree boosted most of the group’s indicators including revenue, which increased to £9.9m from £6.9 million on the back of franchise fees from its enlarged network, and profit before tax of £2.4m, up from £2.2m on last year.
This comes despite the hefty £5 million cost of buying Northwood and the £300,000 in associated legal and professional fees.
Mike Goddard, CEO and founder of Belvoir (pictured), says: “In 2017 the Board will be looking to take advantage of the opportunities anticipated from uncertainty caused by the proposed changes to tenant fees.”
Belvoir remains predominantly a lettings business and a third of its outlets do not offer a sales service. Among those that do, most of their sales come from landlords disposing of property, its annual report says. Belvoir now has 55,756 properties under management.
The group is one of the few large companies in the estate agency world not to be feverishly building an online offering and the tech world only gets a passing mention in its annual report.
“As well as consolidating the current acquisitions with a view to further network efficiencies, the Group will look to leverage on its large managed property portfolio, grow property sales volume and adapt to the technology changes in our industry,” the report says.