Connells Group made pre-tax profits of £50.1m last year in a performance described as “resilient” against the backdrop of last year’s subdued property market.
While the profit is down, from £56.9m the year before, total revenue of £426.4m was within 1% of income in 2018 (£429.2m).
Connells also ended last year with no debt and cash reserves up, at £75.5m, compared with £51.9m for the previous year.
Connells, which is owned by Skipton Building Society, also reported that it had 5.5% market share – the largest of any UK estate agency.
While total house sale exchanges dipped 7% last year, it said that this was in line with the reduction of transaction recorded at the Land Registry.
In lettings, Connells has reported a 2% rise in the number of properties under management said that its strategy to address the tenant fee ban was proving successful.
And while LSL is in talks with Countrywide over a possible take-over, Connells emphasised that it “continues to explore opportunities for expansion”.
CEO David Livesey said: “Connells Group has delivered a strong full-year performance that reflects the robustness and benefits of our diversified business model.
“To have performed so well and produced another market leading result is pleasing when 2019 was another poor year for the market.
“Continued political and Brexit uncertainty inevitably impacted consumer sentiment and the number of housing transactions fell again, but our teams maintained their relentless focus on delivering great customer service and outcomes and we are proud of the progress we’ve made.”
The group made three acquisitions last year, including Optima Property in Cambridge, and last month its Connells Survey & Valuation business acquired Miller Metcalf Surveyors.
For the first half of last year, it announced pre-tax profits of £26.2m, describing itself as the most successful estate agency business in the UK on a number of measures – profitability, selling the most houses, and with the largest market share.
This morning, the message was strongly reiterated with Livesey saying: “Our results stand out from our competitors and are testament to the dedication, skill and experience of our people who are determined to maintain our position as the UK’s most successful estate agency group.”
He added that there is now an improved feel to the market. He said: “Although early days, 2020 feels less uncertain and, with strong fundamentals to support our ambition, we are well placed to optimise from the uptick in the market.”