After years of disastrous results Foxtons has turned the corner with a significant improvement in its business results during the first half of the year helped, in part, by the recent recovering in the housing market.
Several initiatives have also delivered improvements including a new China desk, the acquisition of several estate agents including major rival Douglas & Gordon (D&G), a successful trial in Berkshire of its new hybrid model and strong growth at its build-to-rent management and financial services operations.
Its sales pipeline is ahead of its 2019 performance although the rental market in London remains dicey particularly in central London. Overall rents in London are down 9% year-on-year, the company says.
The turnaround in its fortunes helped increase revenues by 29% during the first six months of the year to £66.9 million and profits of £5.5 million. It has returned to paying shareholders a dividend, of 18p per share.
£3m in Boomin
The company has been on a spending spree including the £10m cost of buying D&G and a £3 million investment in Boomin.
The acquisition of D&G was a good deal – the formerly independent company is on track to add £14 million to Foxtons revenues and £2 million in profits.
But the company makes no mention of its confirmed attempts to sell its mortgage broking arm, Alexander Hall.
Foxtons also says it is to return £3 million to shareholders via a new share buy-back scheme, its half-year results report.
“The combination of political stability and easing restrictions has seen positive momentum return in the market and we are delighted that thousands of customers chose Foxtons to sell or let their property,” says CEO Nic Budden (pictured).
“This enabled us to grow revenues and market share in both sales and lettings, further strengthened by the acquisition of D&G, demonstrating the attractiveness of our customer proposition.”