Belvoir to reimburse staff after Covid-19 pay cuts

Belvoir Group is set to reimburse the pay cut taken by all non-furloughed staff at the height of the coronavirus crisis.

In its trading results for the first ten months of this year, announced yesterday, the franchising group confirmed that the pay cut of between 20% and 30% taken by staff earlier this year would be reimbursed as a result of strong trading in recent months.

Dorian Gonsalves

Chief executive Dorian Gonsalves announced that the group also plans to repay the government Covid subsidies and to make good the missed 2019 dividend for shareholders, as the company said trading in the first ten months of its financial year was ahead of its pre-Covid expectations.

The company revealed that gross profit in the property and the financial services divisions increased year-on-year by 10% and 11% respectively in the period to October 2020.

Management services fee income (MSF) from its lettings was up on last year and MSF from sales was level, supported by the acquisition of the Lovelle chain and a strong recovery in the sales market once the spring lockdown ended.

Agreed property sales are currently running ahead of the previous record level and should result in strong sales revenue during the final two months of the year, the report added.

In financial services, the pipeline of written mortgages has also hit a record high, while overheads have dropped significantly.

Consequently, Belvoir projects its profit before tax will be comfortably ahead of management’s expectations with 62% of gross profits coming from recurring revenues.

Net debt is currently down to £4.3m, despite having deployed £2m of cash in January to acquire the Lovelle network and deferred payment of £0.5m VAT.

Gonsalves commented: “This year has demonstrated beyond doubt the incredible resilience of our franchise business model.

“I am delighted that we are in a position to be able to reimburse staff for their earlier sacrifice, to repay the Government Covid subsidies and to make good the missed 2019 dividend for shareholders.

“2021 will present further challenges, however, we will start the year with strong sales and financial services pipelines, and we have confidence in our business model and the entrepreneurial spirit of our franchisees and advisers to continue to deliver shareholder value.”

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5 Comments

  1. Property Poke In The Eye

    Seems like Belvoir has claimed something from HMRC that they shouldn’t have and are scared of employee revolt!!

    So a good press release to sort the problem.

    Good on Belvoir.  Others should also payback if they have claimed furlough in error.

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    1. NickW9

      You are way out with that comment PPITE. I’ve got a few shares in Belvoir and this wasn’t the headline in their release. The public firms have to declare if they are under target which is called a profit warning and its its the same if they are ahead. The release said they are well ahead. A good firm, as you say.

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  2. Bless You

    You’ve had 2 types of people left after covid.

    The shell shocked ones who worked through all of this and the crap staff who had 4 months off .

    Taking money off the workers is low tbf.

     

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  3. juniorneg

    These businesses making year on year growth or substantial profits should really be looking at themselves and question why they are not following Knight Frank (amongst others) and do the honourable thing and repay furlough funds.

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    1. AlwaysAnAgent

      Too true juniorneg. Don’t forget it isn’t only the larger firms who should do the right thing morally, all independent agents should do the same. Otherwise the smaller agents will be called out at some point, possibly by their own clients locally.

      I repeat what I said about on the Countrywide piece: The storm clouds are gathering over furlough and other cash taken by businesses. PIE should be compiling a name and shame list of propcos that pay dividends or make significant profits and haven’t returned 100% of Government cash.
      There aren’t many who have done the right thing: Rightmove, some of the house builders, Hunters a while ago, Belvoir today. They deserve recognition for it as most business owners will grip onto furlough money with sticky fingers as it’s increasing their profit margins which is obscene.
       

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