Leading London estate agency chain Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward (KFH) has revealed that 2018 was one of the most difficult years the business has ever seen.
The company has released its annual accounts and report for the year and revealed that transaction numbers fell significantly during the period from already historic lows the year before.
KFH says the problems in the housing market have hit its sales and related professional services divisions hard.
Some of the lost ground has been made up by its lettings operation, which saw revenues increase by 12% last year.
But this couldn’t offset the significant reductions in revenues overall. Income from all its activities reduced by £1.22 million to £69.85 million.
Its profits before tax have been hit the hardest by the slowdown, nose diving from £4.4 million to £1.74 million.
“The group continues to focus its operations within London, strengthening its market share and on expanding its non-residential sales operation through continues investment in brand awareness, customer service and its branch network,” the reports says.
But the year ahead looks so worrying for KFH that its directors have recommended the company does not pay a dividend this year and any profit is transferred to its reserves. Last year it paid a dividend of £1.5 million to its shareholders. Its cash at the bank is currently £4.5 million.
KFH has 62 branches across the capital which employ 493 sales and 303 sales staff, 16 more than last year, and its group wage bill during 2018 was £43.5 million.