In its preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2018 LSL Property Services Plc announced a rise in group revenue to £324.6m, up 4% from 2017 – but said that pre tax profits had fallen by 42% compared to the previous year to reach £23.1m.
The group, whose brands include Reeds Rains, Your Move and Marsh & Parsons said that sales revenue was down 9% due to challenging market conditions. However, lettings revenue rose 4%, surveying revenue rose 9% and financial services income rose a healthy 17%.
Significantly the group – which announced a number of branch closures last month – announced a write down in the value of its minority (14.7%) shareholding in online agency Yopa from £20m to just £7.8m
Simon Embley, Chairman, commented: “The Group delivered a highly resilient revenue and Underlying Operating Profit performance in 2018 despite challenging residential property market conditions. We continue to deliver a range of proactive self-help initiatives demonstrating the breadth of opportunity across the Group.”
Bearing in mind the market during 2018 it could be said that LSL’s results are not just resilient but actually quite positive – and show the benefits of the group’s diverse interests. They might suggest, however, that in the world of estate agency nothing quite beats the money you can make from the good old fashioned business of selling houses.