Leading estate agency and property services provider Connells Group today announces its results for the year ended 31 December 2019.
The Group reports EBITDA of £76.3m (2018: £87.7m adjusted for IFRS 16) and pre-tax profits of £50.1m (2018: £56.9m), with total revenue of £426.4m being within 1% of the previous year (2018: £429.2m). Connells Group continues to have a strong balance sheet, with no debt and year-end cash reserves of £75.7m (2018: £51.9m).
This is a resilient performance set against a backdrop of a subdued UK property market.
Key business highlights throughout the year include:
- Total house sale exchanges down 7%, in line with the reduction of transactions recorded by HM Land Registry*;
- Market share maintained at 5.5%** - the largest share of any UK estate agency;
- Remained the largest new homes operator with 9,000 new homes sold;
- Financial Services income up 3%, with £10.7bn worth of lending generated despite fewer house sales;
- Lettings properties under management up 2% and successful strategy to address tenant fee ban;
- Survey and valuation volumes maintained, despite the backdrop of reduced transactions;
- Conveyancing transactions up 1%
“Connells Group has delivered a strong full-year performance that reflects the robustness and benefits of our diversified business model,” says Connells Group CEO David Livesey. “To have performed so well and produced another market leading result is pleasing when 2019 was another poor year for the market. Continued political and Brexit uncertainty inevitably impacted consumer sentiment and the number of housing transactions fell again, but our teams maintained their relentless focus on delivering great customer service and outcomes and we are proud of the progress we’ve made.”
Connells Group continues to invest in all parts of its business and people to improve its competitive position, drive efficiency and stay agile to manage any fluctuations in the housing market. In 2019, the business implemented a range of revenue enhancing initiatives to mitigate the Tenant Fees Act and delivered a number of digital products and solutions to complement customer facing services. The Group’s continued focus on expanding and developing its teams included training new surveyors through Connells Survey & Valuation’s AssocRICS development programme, upskilling existing colleagues via the extension of its new head office apprenticeship programme and extending its management and director development programmes.
The Group continues to explore opportunities for expansion either through acquisition or organic growth, and completed on three acquisitions in 2019.
“Our results stand out from our competitors and are testament to the dedication, skill and experience of our people who are determined to maintain our position as the UK’s most successful estate agency group,” continues David. “Following the decisive election result and a positive close to 2019 where our activity measures outperformed seasonal norms, there is a generally improved feel to the market. Although early days, 2020 feels less uncertain and, with strong fundamentals to support our ambition, we are well placed to optimise from the uptick in the market.”
*Current HM Land Registry transactional data as of 14.02.20
** Rightmove data 01.01.19-31.12.19