Foxtons has managed to creep back into profitability despite a rough ride during 2020, its final results reveal.
The company says it did well despite the housing market shutdown last year, and made a profit before tax of £1.9 million, compared to a £700,00 loss in 2019, the company’s first.
Last year’s profit was achieved by a swingeing £15.9m reduction in operating costs which offset a £13.4m reduction in revenue to £93.5 million.
The dire trading circumstances in London, which has been hit harder than other property markets during Covid, drove down Foxtons’ lettings and sales revenue both by 13% and mortgage broking at its financial services arm Alexander Hall by 5%.
Its shareholders are also long-suffering; as well as having to inject £21 million into the company last year, they are not going to receive a dividend.
The cash has been spent well – Foxtons reveals it has added 4,500 tenancies to its lettings book via the recent acquisitions of three small specialist lettings firms and, most recently, Douglas & Gordon.
Other developments include a market-leading position in build-to-rent asset management and a new China desk.
It also says revenue for the first three months of 2021 are head of its 2020 performance, hopefully pointing to happier days ahead.
“2021 has got off to a strong start, with further improvement in financial performance and the acquisition of Douglas & Gordon demonstrating the continued progress against our acquisition and growth strategy,” says CEO Nic Budden (pictured).
“The March 2021 budget announcement, which brought more certainty for our customers, and the rollout of the mass vaccination programme is expected to result in higher volumes in the residential sales market which, with our expertise and results focused proposition, we are well placed to benefit from.”