Hunters’ Chief Executive Glynis Frew (pictured, above) has warned investors that the challenging property market is unlikely to improve “in the foreseeable future” and that industry consolidation will continue.
The comment are made by her within its half year results published this morning. They reveal a perky performance from its lettings division, a net gain of three new branches to its network but flat-lining overall revenue.
Hunters says its performance has been ‘robust’ given the grim market conditions in many parts of the UK, particularly for property sales which Hunters says have dropped by 9% so far this year.
Despite this its franchised offices paid Hunters 2% more income while cost savings pushed up its profits by 7%.
But the property market’s difficulties aren’t far away within its results. Although Hunters opened eight new branches including the conversion of six existing businesses and two cold starts, it has just three more branches than a year ago.
Other highlights of its half year include the purchase of 11 lettings portfolios via its recently-launched franchisee financing programme and a 14% increase in lettings income overall.
“Hunters is underpinned by our strategy to grow and develop the franchise network and we are bolstered by the pipeline of prospective franchisees interested in joining Hunters,” says Glynnis.
“We are especially encouraged [by] the increase in strength of prospects we have registered reinforcing our view, especially in this environment, of the comparative benefits of joining the Hunters network.
“The continuing work and support displayed by our staff and the franchise network is a great credit to the Group. I offer, on behalf of the Board, our gratitude to everyone that has been involved.”