Profits at Foxtons crashed by over half last year, the agent said this morning.
In its preliminary results for the year to the end of December, pre-tax profits were £18.8m – down from £41m the year before.
Group EBITDA was also well down, from £46m to £24.6m, and the adjusted EBITDA margin stood at 18.5%, down from 30.7% in 2015.
Group revenue was down from £149.8m in 2015 to £132.7m.
Sales revenue was the big victim, and at £55m was down 23%, driven “by a marked step down in activity in the second half following the EU referendum and Stamp Duty changes”.
The market, said Foxtons, remains tough, especially in central London.
The firm sold 4,026 properties, against 5,558 the previous year, but managed to drive its fee levels up – £13,783 on average per property, against £13,043 the year before.
Lettings revenue was down only slightly, by 1%.
CEO Nic Budden warned: “Should current sales activity continue through the remainder of this year, it is likely that 2017 sales volumes will be well below last year.”
This morning City analyst Anthony Codling of Jefferies said: “Foxtons remains the rock and roll story in the UK’s traditional estate agency market, with a focus on London, the slick speedboat that is Foxtons may well be nimble, lean and fast moving, but it can’t out-run the tides of change.
“As ever Foxtons is not taking the current challenges lying down and it will emerge stronger fitter and leaner than before, but we suspect that the London housing market will see more challenges in 2017 than the UK as a whole.
“However the speedboat is a state of the art one and is not going to sink, but for the time being the ride will be choppy.”