The Property Franchise Group (TPFG), which operates six agency brands including Martin & Co and Ewemove, is to resume paying dividends to shareholders, its new CEO Gareth Samples (above) has revealed, indicating that the company has largely dodged the worst of COVID slowdown.
This announcement is within the company’s latest half-year results published this morning, which reveal only a slight dip in revenues from £5.4 million to £5.2 million.
The company’s franchisees and their turnover are dominated by lettings and this appears to have saved TPFG from the worst ravages of the COVID lockdown and housing market freeze.
Its franchisees manage 58,000 properties across the UK and the government’s furlough scheme appears to have had the desired effect of preventing mass defaulting on rents.
The company has enjoyed a good post-COVID lockdown mini-boom with network revenue up 5% on June 2019, of which lettings revenue was up 12%.
Sales activity also grew, with listings at the same level as June 2019 and the sales agreed fees pipeline adding £1m in a month, bringing it to almost match the pipeline amount in the same period last year.
Its Ewemove is reported to be the sales star of the group, and during June was able to quickly convert increased interest in the sales market into new business.
It set new records for sales listings during that month, up 17% on its previous peak, and sales agreed up 49%. TPFG will now pay an interim dividend of 2.1p on the 16 September 2020.
“Following on from our operational update on the 4 June 2020, which confirmed that the Group’s franchisees had successfully resumed all sales and lettings activity, we are very pleased to report a strong performance across the half year as well as a return to growth in the final month of the period which has continued into July,” says Samples, who took the top job just weeks before COVID hit the UK.