Foxtons sales slump – but it still makes £42m profit

The property company rides out a challenging market

Foxtons profits soared by 8.2% in 2014, even after a dodgy second half to the year.

The property firm, which it could be argued is as unpopular as it is successful, made a £42.1m profit despite a year of “contrasting halves”.

For the year to 31 December, revenue also rose 3.4% to £143m, even though during the second half of 2014 the London property market slowed substantially.

Sales fell by 3.7% but overall sales revenue increased by 3.6%.

“2014 was a year of contrasting halves,” said Foxtons CEO Nic Budden.

“The first half was characterised by a very strong property sales market with transactions reaching their highest levels since 2008. In the second half we saw a sharp downturn in property sales volumes, particularly in Central London.”

Budden said Foxtons’ successful year was down to its centralised business model, effective expansion strategy and strong position in lettings, which helped the firm withstand the slowing market. He expected it to be some time before the market improved.

He said: “Whilst we expect property sales activity to remain subdued at levels comparable to those seen in late 2012 and early 2013 until greater political and economic certainty returns, the long term fundamentals of the London market remain sound and attractive.

“We continue to be confident that our organic expansion strategy, together with our strong lettings business, will enable us to grow revenue and profit even in a flat property sales market. Our new branches are performing well and we are on track to open another seven this year.”

Foxtons opened seven more branches in 2014, bringing the total to 51.

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