LSL reveals final 40 branches to be franchised ‘imminently’

Of group's 183 formerly direct-owned branches, 143 are now franchises with 40 expected to complete imminently as it seeks to bolster profits.

LSL Property Services

LSL Property Services wants to finish the restructuring of its estate agency business and its transition to a franchising proposition to bolster returns next year, outgoing Non-executive Chair Bill Shannon confirmed yesterday at the Group’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).

The Neg revealed earlier this month that LSL’s entire owned estate agency network of 183 branches would become franchises and that a new company would take over 23 of its branches run by some well-known estate agencies, with Southern Homemove purchasing the franchises from LSL for the offices currently run by GoodfellowsHawes & CoLauristons and Davis Tate.

HANDOVER

Shannon told the AGM: “Of our previously 183 owned branches, 143 are now trading as franchises following a smooth handover, with the remaining 40 expected to complete imminently.

Bill Shannon, LSL

“The resulting business, with over 60 franchisees operating more than 300 branches, will be a leading player in the sector and is well-placed to grow.

“Importantly, it is also a significantly less complex business to manage, freeing up valuable management time, and will enable the Group to deliver margins that are structurally higher than those it has reported historically.”

A more detailed trading update would be given when the Group releases its Interim Results for 2023 but Shannon highlighted the consistent and strong financial performance in the Group’s Financial Services Network and Surveying & Valuations businesses and the successful transfer of brokerages to Pivotal Growth.

SOLD

The Neg reported last month how LSL had sold its two remaining direct-to-consumer brokerages Embrace Financial Services and First2Protect to Pivotal Growth – its joint venture with Pollen Street Capital to buy and build a national mortgage broker – for close to £18 million.

We also revealed last month that David Barral, former CEO of Aviva UK, will take over from Shannon as Non-execxutive Chair.

All resolutions set out in the Notice of the AGM were passed by shareholders.


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