Multi-branch estate agency The Acorn Group has revealed lower revenues but higher profits last year during Covid, attained via moving to a ‘spoke and hub’ operation.
The financial results, which cover the whole of 2020, include results for its 39 residential branches including its Acorn, Langford Russell and John Payne brands across SE London and Kent.
This includes two new branches opened last year, two opened so far this year with ‘more planned’.
During 2020 the group turned over £24 million, two million less than 2019 but made an operating profit of £3.87 million, £800,000 more than the year before.
Its CEO Robert Sargent (main pic), who also spent much of last year leading one of the main campaigns to get agents to ‘say no to Rightmove‘, says lower portal costs played their part but also that the company was able to leverage cost savings from its existing ‘hub style’ centralised operation. This enabled staff to work from home but also for its branches to operate at a lower cost.
“Basically, our cost base is massively down and we also received a certain amount of government support including grants and furlough payments which helped our financial position,” he says.
“Because of our hub set-up, we have a much lower operating costs compared to other businesses of the same size, but we were still able to staircase from May onwards and after that, flat out.
“We also came into Covid with one of the biggest sales pipelines we’d ever had, which helped and we lost very little of that during the market close-down.”
Sargent also says the company increased its investment in its surveying business to a controlling share, which also helped raise its profits, its results also reveal.