Foxtons’ losses grow as it reveals impact of the coronavirus outbreak on commissions

Foxtons has reported a slump in sales, lettings and commissions for the first half of the year but is still hopeful of a recovery.

The major London-listed brand revealed in its half-yearly report yesterday that sales volumes were down 28.1% in the first six months of 2020 and lettings were down 14.2%.

Foxtons said the London market has been “profoundly affected” by the coronavirus pandemic and revealed it has received £3.8m of Government help through the job retention scheme and £1m from other state support.

This gave the agent the ability to furlough 750 employees, 85% of whom are now back at work.

Since reopening its branches on June 1, lettings commissions during the month were down 12% and fell 3% annually for July.

Sales commissions over the four weeks of June were down 44% annually and 32% for July.

The agent said activity is picking up in sales and is now “broadly in line with last year.”

It predicted that the Stamp Duty holiday will provide a short-term boost to sales.

Group revenue fell overall from £51.8m in the first half of 2019 to £40.4m as of June 2020.

Sales revenue was down 28% to £11.1m and lettings revenue fell 21% to £25.7m, with £1.4m attributed to the tenant fee ban.

This left an operating loss of £2.4m for the first half of the year, compared with £0.9m at the same point of 2019.

Nic Budden, chief executive of Foxtons, said:  “Before lockdown we were seeing first signs of a recovery from the prolonged downturn in London, however the market has been profoundly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and it is still unclear what the long-term impact of the virus will be.

“There is a long road ahead, but we remain confident in London’s resilience and ability to bounce back from this crisis as one of the most attractive property markets in the world.

“With the determined action that we have taken to ensure financial and operational flexibility, as well as ensuring the safety of our employees and customers, we remain confident that Foxtons is well-placed to capitalise as the market recovers. In such challenging times, we are committed to delivering the best results for our customers.”

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3 Comments

  1. James Wilson

    I love the way Foxtons PR guff was all about the “bounce”.   Shame that the only thing which didn’t “bounce” was their share price.  If the London market is so bouyant why is Foxtons share price at a multi-decade low?  Answers on a postcard please!

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  2. Hillofwad71

    What was clear was  that without the Govt furloughing Foxtons  would have suffered badly . With  just 258 sales during the last 60 days that hasnt been buttering any parsnips.
     
    Little sign that inventory is going under  offer so  cashburn likely for next couple of months as staff head back in
     
      The big story emerging  late in the day  yesterday  was at Countrywide New suitor on board  for Lambert Smith Hampton and 2 RNS  indicating 2 large shareholders increasing stakes
     
    Some of the regional branches with 60% sold STC  .
     
    Looks like Countrywide is coming into play now  Creffeld & Long being put out to grass.
     
    Hold onto your hollyhocks

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  3. Interested in Property

    Will there be a change at the helm of Foxtons as every other major company seems to be having a clear out of top brass?

    Always thought Guy Gittins would be a perfect fit for Foxtons and he would most certainly drive them on as he has done at Chestertons.

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