The head office function of Belvoir has repaid Covid support totalling £260,000 paid to the company by the government last year and re-imbursed staff who it asked to take pay cuts during the pandemic.
Belvoir’s decision is announced within its interim full-year trading results for 2020 and makes it the first, The Negotiator understands, to go public on the subject. The company has previously reported that it was to pay shareholders a catch-up dividend.
Belvoir says 2020 was a bumper year for the group – which includes three other brands – despite the restrictions of Covid with its head office revenue up by 12% to £21.6 million.
Its fortunes have been significantly lifted by the acquisition of Lincolnshire and Hull estate agency Lovelle last year including its 17 franchised and directly-operated branches, as well as a cost-cutting programme.
Belvoir derives most of its revenue from its 170+ franchised offices, which increased by 3% last year to £9 million, with the remaining £3 million of revenue gained from its recently-established financial services division.
“The Group has once again demonstrated the incredible resilience of the Belvoir franchise business model, having consistently reported profit growth for 24 consecutive years, including through the 2007 financial crash, the 2019 ban on tenant fees and now the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic,” says Dorian Gonsalves, its CEO (pictured).
“The Board is mindful that we are not yet through the pandemic and it is too early in 2021 to gauge the medium-term impact of Covid-19.
“We are conscious that the Stamp Duty holiday is due to end on 31 March 2021, however we are confident that having traded successfully through 2020, we are well positioned to deal with any further challenges in 2021.