Property Franchise Group PLC said Wednesday it expects its second-half performance to be ahead of the first, despite bracing for headwinds in 2019 due to Brexit and UK tax and regulatory changes.
For the six months to June 30, the multi-brand lettings and estate agency franchising company posted pretax profit down to GBP1.9 million from GBP2.1 million a year ago, as the prior year included a net exceptional gain of GBP679,146.
Meanwhile, revenue increased by 17% year-on-year to GBP5.5 million from GBP4.7 million.
Chief Executive Officer Ian Wilson said: “We are pleased to have delivered another strong set of results, with all of our brands, including our challenger online brand, EweMove, improving revenue over the same period last year.”
Property Franchise’s brands include Ellis & Co, EweMove, CJ Hole, Parkers, and Whitegates.
The company increased its proposed interim dividend by 14% to 2.4 pence per share from 2.1p a year ago.
Management service fees rose by 15% year-on-year to GBP4.4 million, while the group entered a net cash position of around GBP500,000 compared to GBP700,000 of debt a year prior.
Property Franchise said it is seeing “early indicators” of a stronger second half trading as it believes it is “well-positioned to outperform our competitors, increase market share and to deliver growth in value for all our stakeholders over the long term”.
Despite the positive outlook for the remainder of the year, Property Franchise said it expects headwinds in 2019 due to a negative sentiment associated with the UK’s exit from the European Union “causing homeowners to postpone home moves”.
Reductions in tax reliefs and rising rent rates also are causing negative sentiment among buy-to-let landlords, the company said. It added it expects a GBP750,000 blow to its 2019 revenue due to the UK government’s proposed tenant fee ban.
Property Franchise shares were trading up 3.7% at 141.00 pence each on Wednesday.