Foxtons has published a shocking set of half-year results showing group revenue down by 22% and losses almost tripling to £2.4 million as the Covid crisis has battered the business and its key prime London market.
Revenues dropped to £40.4 million from £51.8 million during the first six months of the year although the pandemic has been unkind to the company in almost equal measure. Lettings revenues dropped by 21% to £25.7 million and sales by 28% to £11.1 million.
But Foxtons says the eight weeks following the housing market re-start have been encouraging with lettings down year-on-year by just 3% during July. Sales are taking longer to wake up – revenues are down by 32% this month year-on-year.
The company as plenty of cash at the bank to help it survive the downturn; £40.5 million currently after raising £22 million from City investors in April, and the agency has also revealed that all its branches have re-opened and that 85% of its staff have now been removed from the furlough scheme.
“Before lockdown we were seeing first signs of a recovery from the prolonged downturn in London, however the market has been profoundly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and it is still unclear what the long-term impact of the virus will be,” says CEO Nic Budden.
“There is a long road ahead, but we remain confident in London’s resilience and ability to bounce back from this crisis as one of the most attractive property markets in the world.”
Unsurprisingly, Foxtons is not paying a dividend to its shareholders following the results.
Anthony Codling, CEO of Twindig and a former Jeffereies market analyst, comments: “Trading is improving, but Foxtons offers no financial guidance suggesting that the recovery is difficult to predict and the outcome for 2020 remains highly uncertain.”