Shares in LSL enjoyed a strong day on the stock market yesterday after the company announced that it expects “materially” higher than expected profits this year.
The positive – and unscheduled – announcement comes ahead of its interim results due on August 1. The firm had previously said it could be hit be the Brexit vote.
LSL, parent company to brands including Your Move, Reeds Rains and Marsh & Parsons, said it is expecting to publish results ahead of management expectations for the first half of this year.
LSL said that its performance in the six months to June 30 will also be “significantly” ahead of the same period last year, due to its estate agency division performing ahead of management expectations, strong income growth in lettings and financial services, and a positive performance in surveying.
The statement said: “As a result, LSL expects underlying operating profit for the full year of 2017 to be ahead of previous expectations, more equally weighted between the first and second half compared to past years.”
Shares went up about 20p (9%) and finished the day at 247p.
Last year, LSL turned in pre-tax profits of £63.53m on turnover of £307.75m. Despite this performance, it is worth less than a quarter of Purplebricks, which announced a profit in the UK of just £200,000 and overall losses of £6m.
Yesterday, LSL had a market capitalisation of £232m – far below Purplebricks whose shares ended yesterday at 458p, giving it a market capitalisation of £1.24bn. On Friday last week, Purplebricks’ shares hit a record high of 463p.
And what do analysts think? Well, one certainly thinks that buying into “unpopular” LSL and also Foxtons could pay dividends.