Foxtons investors shrug off gloomy news of ‘very challenging’ conditions in market

Foxtons shares enjoyed a good day on the stock market yesterday, despite the firm having earlier issued a gloomy trading update, saying that conditions in the London property market “remain very challenging”.

The statement said that group revenue was £24.5m in the first quarter of this year, compared with £28.7m in the same period last year.

Sales revenue stood at £8.2m, down from £11.1m, and lettings revenue was down from £15.5m to £14.3m.

The statement continued: “Whilst the sales pipeline has begun to improve it remains below where it was this time last year.

“The performance of our lettings business improved towards the end of the quarter and throughout April.

“Foxtons remains in a strong financial position with a net cash balance.”

The trading update was issued ahead of yesterday’s AGM where all resolutions were passed but where some shareholders displayed reluctance to re-elect two directors.

Over 18% voted against the re-election of Andrew Adcock, and 16% voted against that of chairman Gary Watts.

The shareholders who objected were likely to have been showing signs of unhappiness with so-called ‘overboarding’, where directors have a number of other directorships.

Watts, for example, is also chairman of Spire Healthcare Group UK and of BTG, and is deputy chairman of Stagecoach while also a non-executive director at Coca-Cola Enterprises.

Adcock is also chairman of Majedie Investments, and non executive director of F & C Global Smaller Companies, Kleinwort Benson Group, and Kleinwort Benson Bank.

Yesterday, shares in Foxtons ended the day up almost 4%, finishing at around 73p.

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One Comment

  1. londoneye

    The London residential property market is very difficult and this proves the point. I bought shares in both Foxtons and Countrywide earlier this year, my Foxtons shares are down just over 6% today while my Countrywide shares are up just over 33%.

    In the current market with Brexit, SDLT and the recent tax changes, buyers are being very careful, vendors with low-interest rates think they should hold on and not reduce their prices.

    There is a standoff and anyone buying now needs to think very carefully. There is no prospect of price rises IMO and therefore waiting to see what happens is probably the best thing to do.

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