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Online agent easyProperty set to seek more funding as it posts losses of almost £11m

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Online agent easyProperty has posted losses of almost £11m on a turnover of less than £1m.

Its results are for the year to September 30, 2016, for which it had been forecasting a profit of nearly £3m.

The report was approved by the board in mid-December, but only posted on the Companies House website this week.

In its last financial year, easyProperty had turnover of £874,937, up from £144,161 the year before.

In the 12 months to the end of last September it lost £10,941,652, up from a loss of £6,773,869 the previous year.

In a successful crowdfunding pitch in September 2014, easyProperty said it would make a profit of £2,908,359 in the year to September 2016, on a turnover of almost £24m (£23,709,491).

It also said at the time that it expected profits for the current financial year to be £9,729,111 on a turnover of £37,155,529.

The firm, called EProp Services plc, says in its new report: “The directors are pleased to report a period of further development for the business, albeit at a lower rate of growth than anticipated.”

During the year, in which it raised £16m through the issue of some 2m shares at £7.845 each, it also said it had “solidified its position in the market where it is aiming to be the leading provider of online estate agency services”.

It goes on to say: “The Group is still a very young business, competing within and disrupting an established market, and as is typical for businesses at this stage of their lifecycle it is generating start-up losses as it uses working capital to develop the business.”

As at the end of last September, it said its assets exceeded its liabilities by £9.2m and its net cash position was £8.6m.

Its net cash stood at £7.3m by the time it signed off its financial statements.

EasyProperty expects to require extra funds “in the foreseeable future”, saying: “The directors have ongoing positive relationships with shareholders and so the directors believe that further funding will [be] made available to meet any liabilities as they fall due in the foreseeable future.”

EasyProperty is headed by Robert Ellice, who has taken a big pay cut.

In the year to the end of September 2015 he was paid £402,053. In the last financial year he was paid £181,250.

Remuneration for the three non-executive directors went up from £71,647 to £221,878.

A sum of £57,067 appears in last year’s accounts as compensation for loss of office.

Overall staff costs went up, as headcount rose from 63 to 101. Staff costs last year were £3,575,778, up from £2,730,252.

At the end of 2015, Ellice said he was not looking to launch easyProperty on the stock market for at least two years, as a fundraising round had raised £25m including £14m from Toscafund. That particular fundraising round valued the firm at £100m, and Ellice said he believed his business would be worth over £1bn over the following two or three years.

EasyProperty launched in September 2014 with a huge bash at the National History Museum where attendees included Sir Stelios Haji-Joannou, who licenses his ‘easy’ brand to the business.

In the latest accounts, a figure of £333,000 is given for ‘trademarks and licences’.

beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/09210707

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Source:: Online agent easyProperty set to seek more funding as it posts losses of almost £11m