Multi-skilled team to 12 to drive estate agency training
Connells Group enters the new year with a significantly enhanced Land and New Homes division with the appointment of 14 property professionals across its network.
Graham Jones, a human resources leader with over 25 years’ experience, has been appointed Group Human Resources Director at leading estate agency and property services provider Connells Group.
Market leading performance from Connells Group
End of year financial review
The Connells Group, one of the UK’s largest and most successful estate agency and property services groups, today announces pre-tax profits of £62.5m. The result represents a 19% increase in profits* for the year, and an increase of 72% over the last three years.
Highlights for the Connells Group included:
- Number of properties sold up nearly 5%; exchanges up 1%
- A string of estate agency and lettings business acquisitions including 18 branch Gascoigne Halman
- Significant investments into digital strategy including online estate agency Hatched
- Lettings income up 26%
- 23% increase in mortgages and nearly £9bn of lending
- Over 8,000 new homes sales - an increase of 43%; and a 20% increase in revenue from the Land division
- 12% increase from Connells Survey & Valuation
- Conveyancing uplift of 10%
"2015 was another stunning year for the Connells Group where all parts of the business delivered a strong performance. The housing market has not been without its challenges, characterised by lack of stock, so to end the year with strong profits and having sold more properties than 2014 and 2013 is a tremendous achievement," says Connells Group CEO David Livesey.
"We remain at the forefront of our profession and to maintain this position we made further significant investments into the business in 2015," continues David. "We ploughed £25m into branch refurbishments, acquisitions, developing our business further and building our talent pool for the future. This sends out a signal of our financial strength and commitment to growth, and we remain acquisitive.
"Looking forward, we are optimistic for 2016. We entered the year with a substantially increased pipeline, and with a stronger housing market, more buyer and rental demand and a Government that is supportive to house building and home ownership, we are well poised for a record year.”
"Our excellent results could not have been achieved without the superb performance and sterling efforts from our colleagues. We are lucky to have some of the best people in the business within the Connells Group who, through their expertise and dedication, create our success and ensure our position as the market leader,” concludes David.
The Group's Estate Agency business enjoyed a strong trading performance in a market characterised by lack of stock and ended the year with residential sales income up 6%, the number of properties sold up nearly 5% and the number of exchanges 1% above 2014. During 2015, the Group continued to open new branches and acquire a number of businesses to extend its geographical footprint. The Connells Group network now totals nearly 550 branches.
Connells Group's Lettings expansion continued as the growth of the private rental sector in the UK continued, opening a lettings capability in 50 branches throughout 2015 and acquiring a number of lettings businesses. Indeed, since January 2012, the Group has opened on average over three lettings branches per month. Income from Lettings increased by 26% in the year and the number of properties under management increased by 17%.
In Mortgage Services, activity levels far exceeded those seen in 2014. Income was up by 30% compared with the prior year, mortgages increased by 23% and the division generated nearly £9bn worth of lending. Mortgage Services continued to reap the benefits of the investments we made for the Mortgage Market Review in 2014 and now has a head count of over 600 mortgage advisors.
Securing its position as the largest agency for new home sales in the UK, the Group's Land & New Homes operation recorded over 8,000 new homes sales, up 43% on the prior year. Connells’ team of 35 dedicated land operators achieved a 20% growth in revenues from advising on the sale and acquisition of residential development land and this will have a major impact in boosting its new homes pipeline for the agency business in the future.
Connells Survey & Valuation confirmed an outstanding year with a 12% increase in business. Now recognised as the number one service provider, Connells S&V won a number of significant panel management contracts including West Bromwich Building Society, employs 300 surveyors and recently announced a £5m investment to recruit further surveyors and grow capacity.
- Ends -
Notes to editor:
* Excluding one off gains
For further information and photography, please contact the press office on 01525 218536 or email Lucy Walsh, Group PR Manager: Lucy.Walsh@connells.co.uk or Isabelle Thompson, Group PR Executive: Isabelle.Thompson@connells.co.uk