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LSL chief blames conveyancing delays on underlying loss

LSL Group CEO David Stewart blames delays in conveyancing for impacting its profits and contributing to an underlying loss of £1m.

Robyn Hall

Group CEO of LSL, David Stewart (pictured) has blamed delays in conveyancing for impacting its profits and contributing to an underlying loss of £1m in its estate agency division in the first half of the year.

LSL, which operates a dozen national and regional estate agencies including Your Move and Reeds Rains plus a range of surveying and financial services platforms, said underlying profit for the division would have been over £6m higher in normal conditions.

Despite the setback the residential sales exchange pipeline now stands at a record level of £26.7m (31 December 2021: £20.7m, 30 June 2021: £21.2m) and the division managed to retain market share gains made last year as well as its lettings income.

Had agreed sales exchanged at a more usual rate, underlying operating profit would have been over £6m higher – better than the same period in 2019 where market conditions and the split between H1 and H2 profitability was similar to the current year.

Overall, LSL’s half year results showed its diversification strategy working with record revenue in its financial services and surveying and valuation network.

MARKET SHARE

LSL’s share of the total UK purchase and re-mortgage market increased to 10.1% and its financial services network revenue was up 10% year-on-year with record surveying revenue of £50.5m.

The division, which includes intermediary brands Primis Mortgage Network and TMA, reported a 6% increase in its H1 lending value from £19.3bn in 2021 to £20.5bn in 2022.

RECORD REVENUE

Commenting on the performance of LSL, David Stewart said: “Our surveying and valuation and financial services businesses delivered record revenues and our estate agency division retained the market share gains made in 2021.

“We are well placed to deliver a strong performance in the second half of the year and to grow in 2023 as we reap the benefits of our financial services led growth strategy.”

“Although our H1 2022 results were impacted significantly by continuing market-wide delays in the rate of residential sales exchanges, the result of which was to delay profits by over £6m, group underlying operating profit of £14.2m was significantly higher than the £12.2m we reported in H1 2019.”

August 3, 2022

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