Foxtons tells shareholders no current plans to close more branches

Foxtons has told its shareholders that it has no current plans for further branch closures although it expects trading conditions to remain challenging this year.

Last year it closed six branches, including its flagship Park Lane office.

In its annual report, it says that it continues to cover over 85% of the London market from 61 branches.

The latest publicly listed estate agency business to publish its annual report, Foxtons made a pre-tax loss last year of £17.2m compared with profit in 2017 of £6.5m.

The closures cost Foxtons £5.9m. In addition it wrote down £9.8m of goodwill “which we consider to be an appropriate course of action given the prolonged nature of the current sales market downturn”.

Chief executive Nic Budden reports that investment has been made in Foxtons’ technology and its people.

Last year, it invested in Propoly, described as a “young company providing business to business white label digital estate agency software, currently focused on lettings”.

It also invested in a partnership with Zero Deposit, the Zoopla-backed tenancy deposit replacement scheme.

Last year, it launched new remuneration structures for its staff, with a higher number of negotiators focused on lettings, plus additional property managers.

Budden said that the sales market remains subdued this year, with “less visibility on exchanges proceeding”.

Last year, the average Foxtons’ house sale price was £581,000, achieving a 6.3% price premium compared with its top 20 competitors.

The annual report also gives insight into Foxtons’ proprietary customer relationship management system, with 711,080 My Foxtons accounts, 19,000 tenants and landlords using it every month, and over 100 viewing requests made through My Foxtons every day.

Registered users can also access new listings before they are published on Rightmove and Zoopla.

The annual report also spells out the reliance now placed on lettings, which brought in 67% of revenue last year.

The annual report also reveals that last year Budden earned a total of £910,000, down from £914,000 in 2017. Budden’s basic salary of £550,000 remains unchanged for this year.

The annual report also reveals that the biggest shareholder – with a stake of over 22% – is Caledonia, followed by Platinum Investment Management with 11%. Bank USB has almost 10% in the business, and former chief executive Michael Brown has over 8%.

Yesterday, Foxtons shares picked up 5%, finishing the day at about 64p.

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4 Comments

  1. DarrelKwong43

    Maybe it’s too early …but 67% plus 36% plus 8% when calculating revenue is somewhat confusing

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  2. Property Poke In The Eye

    In my opinion Foxtons will need to close further branches to stay in the game.  Especially branches in the Middlesex Area.  No need to invest in other ventures stick to EA.

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  3. GeorgeOrwell

    Whilst watching Foxtons shares this morning I see OnTheMarket is Share Trading under a “Periodic Auction Call” status rather than Regular Trading this morning. Interesting?

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  4. HD23

    Well they already have Managers over seeing offices in neighbouring towns, and they’re market share certainly isn’t what it used to be. Branch closures will be inevitable.

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