Estate agency corporate LSL boosted its performance last year with a £5.6 million windfall from the sale of its shares in the Guild of Professional Estate Agents, its preliminary results reveal, lifting underlying profits by 8%.
This ‘exception gain’ plus increased revenue from its branch network including a 10% lettings revenue increase at flagship brand Marsh & Parsons, and very strong results from its mortgage business, helped make 2017 a good year for the company.
Its performance, which has been achieved during a difficult sales market, has also been delivered despite 2016’s stellar results, which were boosted by a £32.9 million windfall from the sale of ZPG shares.
Last year it also spend £20 million spent on its investment in hybrid agency YOPA in September and, after its strategic review, two other interesting investments.
This includes an undisclosed sum in Zero Deposit, the Jon Notley-led alternative deposits model, and £65,000 invested in an online mortgage broker called Property Master.
“The Group delivered a robust financial performance given the subdued market conditions,” says Chairman Simon Embley (pictured, left).
“I am pleased that the business delivered underlying operating profit growth in both the Estate Agency and Surveying Divisions.”
LSL is much loved by the City and its shareholders. While other publicly-listed traditional corporates such as Countrywide and Foxtons have struggled and seen their share price nose-dive recently, LSL’s has been on the rise since early November.
The brightest stars in the LSL constellation are its surveying business, where profits increased by 8%, and mortgages where profits increased by 16%, mostly organically.
LSL also acquired or opened nine more branches last year including two more Marsh & Parsons offices plus seven more Your Move locations, gains which were offset by the loss of both Reeds Rains and LSLi branches, leaving the group with 505 branches in total.