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Agencies & People

Foxtons results reveal tanking profits but confident dismissal of online competitors

Company's profits, revenues and margin all fell during 2017 significantly, more so than its preliminary report for the year reported in January.

Nigel Lewis

foxtons results

Foxtons has revealed its worse full-year results since 2013 including profits before tax which tanked by 65% year-on-year.

Its Annual Report and Accounts for 2017 also reveal that revenue decreased by 11.4% and earnings per share by 67%, while its margin dropped to 12.8%, down from over 35% in 2013.

That year its profits before tax were £38.9 million, but in 2017 were just £6.5 million.

Despite its poor results, both its CEO Nic Budden and CFO Mark Berry received bonuses, although they were lower than in 2016.

nic budden foxtons resultsBudden (pictured, left) was paid a package worth £914,000 last year including a bonus of £218,000 while Berry was paid £490,000 including a bonus of £153,000.

Foxtons results document blames the poor performance squarely on its sales operation, which Foxtons says has been battered by the sluggish property markets inside the M25/London area. Sales revenue fell by 23% year-on-year during 2017.

This, it says, is largely due to a lack of confidence among buyers and vendors caused by the ongoing Brexit process. But Foxtons also says the 2016 changes to Stamp Duty continue to depress volumes.

But unlike most of its competitors, Foxtons continues to focus on developing its own in-house online abilities rather than buying up a digital rival – as Savills and LSL have done – and says 98% of its lettings are now transacted online via its MyFoxtons portal.

Hybrids dismissed

Foxtons results report also includes a stinging attack on both its online-only and hybrid rivals, the threat of which it dismisses.

“The Board believes that the emotional and complex nature of estate agency transactions means that it is unlikely that online agents will play a major role in the exchange or completion of sales or lettings transaction without the involvement of an estate agent,” it says.

“Any market share gained by online agents is likely to be at the expense of traditional estate agents with low levels of service who compete on price.”

April 5, 2018

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