Foxtons has reported an operating loss for the first time since it launched on the stock market in 2013.
The company says it went into the red to the tune of £17.2 million on a turnover of £111.5 million last year compared to a profit of £6.5 million the year before, albeit on a slightly higher turnover.
Most of the losses relate to the expense of closing six outer London branches recently as it has sought to rein-in costs, and an accounting write-down of lost goodwill from its sales division, although it has also been splashing out on an aggressive poster campaign recently (pictured, above).
But even taking these into account, Foxtons will have made a loss of £1.5 million last year, its results reveal.
With the exception of lettings where profits increased by 1% to £67 million, its business divisions all reported lower revenues during 2018.
This included sales, which slumped by 15% year-on-year and its Alexander Hall mortgages business, where revenue slipped by 8%.
“The outlook for sales remains unchanged with a range of factors, including political uncertainty, likely to contribute to ongoing low transaction levels in the short to medium term,” says CEO Nic Budden.
“There is momentum in the lettings business, and we are pleased with how that business is progressing.
“We are managing the business for these conditions with a focus on cost control and appropriate investment to improve efficiency and reinforce our customer focused offering.”