LSL has written down its shareholding in hybrid estate agency Yopa by 60%, its latest full-year financial results for 2018 have revealed.
The company has a 14.7% minority shareholding in the London-based hybrid estate agency, but LSL’s directors have reduced its carrying value in the agency from £20 million to £7.8 million “to reflect the Board’s assessment of fair value”.
The results also reveal that profits at LSL were down by 24% last year driven in part by a 9% reduction in residential sales revenue, which the company says offset gains in lettings and financial services due to ‘operational gearing’.
This helped drag down what should have been a reasonable year for the group. During 2018 income from financial services rose by 17% mainly through the acquisition of several mortgage brokers including online firm Mortgage Gym, and a 4% increase in lettings revenue. Overall revenue was up by 3%.
LSL is hoping that the recent restructure of its branch network will help restore the company to profitability this year.
“Delivering the ‘ways of working programme’ into Your Move and Reeds Rains is expected to deliver material improvement in Your Move and Reeds Rains operating profit, assuming no material change in residential property market conditions,” says Group Chief Executive Ian Crabb (left).
“[These changes] demonstrate our commitment to evolve our business model to adapt to changes in the landscape and customer demands in order to drive value for our shareholders.”
The Your Move and Reeds Rains branch networks have been reduced from 308 to 144 keystone branches following the closure and merging of 81 neighbouring branches into the keystone branch network, the franchising of 39 branches and the closure of 44 branches.