Brexit blues take over Foxtons
Estate agent Foxtons saw half-year profts drop by 42% thanks to Britain’s shock vote to quit the European Union last month.
The property giant’s profit before tax fell to £10.5m in the first six months of the year, from £18.1m a year earlier.
Revenues from property sales dropped 7% to £31.3m and lettings revenues declined 2.7% to £32.6m. Foxtons cancelled a special dividend.
Nic Budden, Foxtons’ chief executive, said: “The result of the referendum to leave Europe is likely to lead to a prolonged period of further uncertainty and we do not expect London residential property sales markets to show signs of recovery before the end of the year.
“However, longer term, while recent political events have produced uncertainty for buyers and sellers, we expect London to remain a highly attractive property market for sales and lettings and we remain committed to our goal to reach 100 branches across greater London.”
Jefferies analyst Anthony Codling said: “With a focus on London, Foxtons has to bear the consequences of betting everything on red, rather than the more balanced approach of its listed rivals.
“Expanding in a contracting market is proving even too difficult for Foxtons and growth plans are being reviewed,” he added. “Perhaps a sign of the times, but even with first half profits of £10.5m the stock market value of Foxtons is less than that of the challenger low-cost estate agent Purplebricks, which has yet to turn a profit, recently delivering a full year loss of £11.9m.”