2019 was not the easiest year in estate agency but LSL Property Services plc (LSL) in its preliminary results for the year to 31st December 2019, reported a positive performance with Underlying Operating Profit up 3% to £37.0m (2018: £35.9m) and Group Adjusted EBITDA up 25%.
A “reshaping marathon” delivered results for LSL’s Estate Agency Division – in particular, Your Move and Reeds Rains branch networks – a strong performance with Underlying Operating Profit up 30% to £14.5m (2018: £11.1m) and resilient performances from Marsh & Parsons and its nine LSLi brands. After accounting for the restructure of the Your Move and Reeds Rains branch networks, Group revenue increased by 4% on a like-for-like basis.
Short-term pain for long-term gain
This was no easy task – the Your Move and Reeds Rains Estate Agency branch network was cut from 308 owned branches to 144 keystone branches following 44 branch closures, merging of neighbouring branches into the keystone branch network, and franchising 39 branches.
Simon Embley, LSL Chairman (pictured) said, “The successful implementation of this large and complex project demonstrates LSL’s commitment and ability to evolve our business model to adapt to changes in the landscape and customer demands.
“We are pleased to have created a branch network platform that is already benefiting from its larger scale, enabling us to invest in people and technology with the aim of providing enhanced levels of service to our customers whilst ensuring operational performance is optimised by competing more effectively in local markets.”
Helen Buck, Executive Director of Estate Agency added, “Last February when we announced the planned changes to the structure of the Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agency branch networks and operations it was stated that it was expected to deliver improvements to the Your Move and Reeds Rains operational performance and market competitiveness. The results show clearly this has been achieved and undoubtedly is testament to the hard work, commitment and dedication of colleagues from across both networks who have worked very hard to make this happen.
“Now, with the Estate Agency sales pipeline at 29th February 2020 being reported as ahead of the LSL Board’s prior expectations, I hope we can look forward to continued success and to ensuring that Your Move and Reeds Rains remain two of the leading Estate Agency brands in the UK.”