Belvoir founder to sell second tranche of shares for £2.1 million

September 29, 2019

Belvoir founder Mike Goddard also sold £1m worth of shares in December but still holds stock worth at least £2.5 million at today’s share price.

Mike Goddard, the founder and former chairman of franchising giant Belvoir has applied to sell two million of the 4.39 million shares he still holds in the company.

 
His sale of the shares will be at ‘no less’ than £1.05p per share but at the moment the company’s stock is being traded at £1.12p.

Therefore the 70-year-old will realise cash from the sale of between approximately £2.1 million and £2.24 million, reducing his shareholding in the company from 12.6% to 5.7% of its issued share capital.

Related: Property and Estate Agent Franchises UK – What Buying an Estate Agency Franchise Means for UK Franchisees

Back in May Goddard, who is also a director of The Property Ombudsman and a former chairman of the British Franchising Association, stepped down as chairman of Belvoir after nearly 25 years, and was replaced by Michael Stoop (left).

In December last year Goddard gave himself a well-earned Christmas present after he sold shares worth £989,700.

Related: Property & Estate Agency Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Both today’s news and the December share sale are part of a complicated deal struck following the purchase of Northwood which required the directors involved to wait two years before realising any shares.

Belvoir was set up by Goddard and his wife in 1995 after he left the RAF as a Wing Commander and it initially grew through franchising using its own brand, but later also through acquisition. As well as its own 174 offices it also operates 90 Northwood and 36 Newton Fallowell branches.

Related: Belvoir Franchise

By Nigel Lewis

Source: The Negotiator

Belvoir profits jump as it outperforms across key markets in first half

September 3, 2019

Belvoir Group PLC (LON:BLV) reported a jump in profits for the first half of the year as its three business lines continued to outperform their respective markets.

For the six months to 30 June, the property franchise group generated a 23% rise in adjusted pre-tax profits to around £3mln, while revenues were up 48% at £9mln.

 
Financial services revenues tripled to £3.9mln, boosted by the acquisition of mortgage broker MAB (Gloucester) in November last year.

The core property franchise division lifted management service fees 5% to £4.2mln.

Related: Property and Estate Agent Franchises UK – What Buying an Estate Agency Franchise Means for UK Franchisees

The firm’s interim dividend was maintained at 3.4p per share.

On target for full year
Looking ahead, chief executive Dorian Gonsalves said the group had made a “promising start” to its second half and was trading in line with management expectations for the full year.

“Trading across lettings, sales and financial services continue to outperform their respective markets and deliver strong results”, he added.

Gonsalves told Proactive that the growth in the group’s results showed that its franchisees were “not only surviving but thriving” despite fears of a downturn in the property market.

Related: Property & Estate Agency Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

The CEO said that if the property sales market began to shrink, rental activity among its lettings agents was likely to increase due to a reduced number of buyers and higher numbers of “accidental landlords”, property owners that hold off and selling and decide to rent while waiting for prices to improve.

“We’re holding all the cards in terms of the rental stock”, Gonsalves said, with the company having around 64,500 properties under management.

Related: Belvoir Franchise

Franchise model “maximises potential”
In a note, analysts at Belvoir’s house broker finnCap reiterated their 190p target price on the firm, saying its franchise model “maximises entrepreneurial potential, flexibility and cash flow while minimising risk”.

The broker added that with the UK residential property market undergoing structural change alongside ongoing economic uncertainty, Belvoir had “significant potential” to gain market share, evidenced by the results.

Investors appeared to agree, with the shares jumping 6% to 117p in early trading on Tuesday.

Source: Proactive Investors

Belvoir to meet expectations with profits ahead of H1 2018

August 7, 2019

UK property franchise Belvoir Group PLC (AIM: BLV) booked positive trading performance in the first half, despite challenging market conditions and legislation change.

 
The Company noted that Management Service Fees rose 5% at their 300 high street lettings and estate agency offices, despite a backdrop of falling sales activity and a ban on tenant fees introduced in June 2019. The Board noted that profits and sales were both ahead of results for the first half of 2018, and that the Group benefitted from the acquisition of financial services network, MAB, in November 2018.

Related: Property and Estate Agent Franchises UK – What Buying an Estate Agency Franchise Means for UK Franchisees

Net banked commission was also up 23% on-year. In turn, the Board were confident of meeting market expectations for the full year.

Belvoir comments

Dorian Gonsalves, CEO, commented,

“The Board was very encouraged by trading during the first half of 2019 with our franchise model proving to be resilient to changes in the sector and our diversification into financial services providing an additional revenue stream for both our franchisees and the Group.  We have seen positive results both from our property franchise and our financial services networks, and are confident that the Group is well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities arising from a more challenging market.”

Related: Property & Estate Agency Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Investor notes

Despite what could have perhaps have been seen as a positive update, the Company’s shares were down 3.96% or 4.50p to 109.00p a share. The Group’s p/e ratio is 9.15 and their dividend yield stands at 6.61%.

Related: Belvoir Franchise

By Jamie Gordon

Source: UK Investor Magazine

From assistant to branch owner – the latest Belvoir acquisition

July 1, 2019

The latest owner of a Belvoir franchise is a 31-year-old former part-time assistant at the company, who rose to office manager and has now bought the Aberdeen branch.

Skylar Atkinson originally joined Belvoir Aberdeen in an admin role as part of a university placement for her degree in business studies.

 
“I used to come and work on reception for a couple of days a week. When I finished my degree in 2018 I gradually began to take on more and more responsibilities. I realized that I absolutely loved working at Belvoir Aberdeen and when the owner announced plans to sell I saw this as a perfect business opportunity” she says.

Related: Property and Estate Agent Franchises UK – What Buying an Estate Agency Franchise Means for UK Franchisees

“Including myself, there is a team of six people at Belvoir Aberdeen and at present we are focusing purely on lettings, but I have many exciting plans for the future. As I have worked here already for some time I am very familiar with the business, and I’m looking forward to implementing my plans and making Belvoir Aberdeen into the best agency in the area.”

Related: Property & Estate Agency Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Belvoir chief executive Dorian Gonsalves says Atkinson has fantastic potential with her new branch.

“Belvoir’s franchise support team always work hard to help owners sell their business to the right person whenever they wish to implement an exit strategy. As Skylar has already been working within the business for some time she was perfectly placed to become the new owner, and is one of a number of ambitious young entrepreneurs to have joined Belvoir in recent times. She will undoubtedly invigorate this business and make it into a real force to be reckoned with.”

Related: Belvoir Franchise

By Graham Norwood

Source: Letting Agent Today

Industry veteran becomes chair of franchise giant as founder retires

May 20, 2019

The founder of franchise giant Belvoir, Mike Goddard, has now stepped down as chair of the company, two years after quitting as its chief executive officer.

Goddard founded Belvoir with his wife Stephanie in 1995 and at yesterday’s Annual General Meeting of the firm – the last with Goddard as chair – the current chief executive Dorian Gonsalves spoke of the pleasure he had of working with the founder since 2005.

Related: Property and Estate Agent Franchises UK – What Buying an Estate Agency Franchise Means for UK Franchisees

“Through his entrepreneurial spirit and his passion for franchising, Belvoir has become the largest property franchise group in the UK.  I would like to express my personal and the board’s sincere gratitude for all that Mike has done and achieved as founder, chief executive and chairman over the past 24 years” Gonsalves said.

Taking over as chairman from today is industry veteran Michael Stoop, who has 40 years experience in the industry, much of it involved with franchise operations.

Related: Property & Estate Agency Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

During that time he has been managing director of Winkworth, was the head of Xperience (the agency franchising arm of Legal & General), was group managing director at Martin & Co – now named The Property Franchise Group – and is still involved on the board of at least one PropTech company.

Stoop is, in addition, vice-chairman of The Property Ombudsman.

“We welcome as chairman, Michael Stoop, who has over 40 years’ experience of the property franchise sector and has already made a significant contribution since joining the [Belvoir] board in March 2018” says a statement from Dorian Gonsalves.

Related: Belvoir Franchise

The AGM heard that Belvoir’s first quarter trading for 2019 was exceeding expectations in all three of its activity areas – sales, lettings and financial services.

By Graham Norwood

Source: Estate Agent Today

Belvoir Lettings outperforming on all fronts

May 18, 2019

Belvoir Lettings PLC (LON:BLV), the UK’s largest property franchise, said it is outperforming the three key markets in which it operates.

After a robust first quarter of 2019, the board is confident of meeting market expectations for the full year.

Year-on-year growth of 6.3% in Management Service Fees (MSF) from lettings was well ahead of the reported 1.2% growth in the rental index of 1.2%, while growth of 10.3% from sales MSF compared with a drop of 1.5% in property transactions. Net banking from financial services (on a like-for-like basis) was up 20%.

Related: Property and Estate Agent Franchises UK – What Buying an Estate Agency Franchise Means for UK Franchisees

In the year to date Belvoir’s Assisted Acquisitions programme has supported six franchisees to acquire a local competitor, adding £1.2mln of network revenue, nearly 800 managed properties and over £100,000 a year of recurring MSF.

There are still £2.0ml of deals currently with lawyers and a strong pipeline of further opportunities to underpin the group’s growth target for 2019, Belvoir said.

“The board is very encouraged by trading in Q1 with our franchise model proving that, even in a challenging year for the property market, it has the resilience to overcome and indeed benefit from changes in the sector,” said Dorian Gonsalves, the chief executive officer.

Related: Property & Estate Agency Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Mike Goddard, Belvoir’s founder and non-executive chairman, is retiring from the board at today’s annual general meeting. He will be succeeded by non-executive director, Michael Stoop.

“Through his entrepreneurial spirit and his passion for franchising, Belvoir has become the largest property franchise group in the UK. I would like to express my personal and the board’s sincere gratitude for all that Mike has done and achieved as founder, CEO and chairman over the past 24 years,” Gonsalves said.

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“We welcome as chairman, Michael Stoop, who has over 40 years’ experience of the property franchise sector and has already made a significant contribution since joining the board in March 2018,” he added.

By John Harrington

Source: Proactive Investors

Northwich lettings agency scoops second award of the year

April 9, 2019

A NORTHWICH lettings business has scooped its second award of the year, having been put forward by a panel of expert judges. Belvoir Lettings, in Castle Street, had already won the Gold Award for Lettings within Northwich at the British Property Awards (BPA), picking up the gong in January.

The company has now been awarded a bronze award for the north west as part of the BPA regional awards.

Franchise owner James Whalley was thrilled when he heard the news, and admits it came as a bit of a shock.

“To be honest we really weren’t expecting this so it was a very welcome surprise,” he said.

“We were judged on our customer service in terms of friendliness, willingness to help, local knowledge and speed of responses and even in our wildest dreams we didn’t think we’d receive two prestigious awards in such a short space of time.

“We got a call from the British Property Awards out of the blue to say that we’d been put forward to the regional awards and had achieved the Bronze Award – it’s amazing.”

Related: Property and Estate Agent Franchises UK – What Buying an Estate Agency Franchise Means for UK Franchisees

James has also praised the national Belvoir team for their support over recent months which has contributed to the two recent awards. The company runs 170 branches.

He said: “Thanks must go to the team at Belvoir for their continued efforts in helping us secure this award – we couldn’t have done it without them.”

James has also backed plans for a second Northwich BID term.

“We will most certainly be voting for a second term for the Northwich BID,” he said.

“We would encourage all businesses to say yes too as it’s a really exciting time for Northwich and the BID’s work will help the town continue to prosper.

“There’s never been a more important time to support our fellow businesses in the Northwich area which sustain the local economy.”

By Ned Bristow

Source: Northwich Guardian

Franchise giant Belvoir says fees ban effect will be ‘less than expected’

February 1, 2019

Belvoir has this morning told shareholders that the effect of the Fees Ban coming into effect in June will be less than expected.

In a statement to the City the firm says: “The Board has assessed that the impact from the ban on tenant fees will be less than the previously estimated eight per cent of gross profit.

“The effect is now believed to be less than six per cent initially, reducing further to three over nine months.”

In a strategy that will be looked at keenly by competitors, Belvoir says the minimising of the fees ban impact is down to the company’s “diversification into financial services, and our franchisees adopting additional revenue streams.”

The comments come after the Belvoir Group told shareholders of what it calls “another year of continued and encouraging growth” with revenue up 21 per cent to £13.7m (2017: £11.3m): it says this strong showing is “outperforming both the sales and lettings elements of the housing market and the financial services market.”

Management fees from lettings were up 7.1 per cent, much of it down to Belvoir’s assisted acquisitions programme. Sales fees were up 8.5 per cent “compared with the HMRC reported two per cent decrease in the number of residential property transactions for 2018.”

Group income from financial services was also on the rise thanks to the first full year of ownership of Brook Financial Services and the lates-in-the-year acquisition of MAB (Gloucester) Limited.

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Dorian Gonsalves, chief executive of Belvoir, says: “In 2018, Belvoir delivered on its promise to support franchisee growth through its Assisted Acquisitions programme, adding network revenue of £6.9m, ahead of our £6.6m target for the year and over double that achieved in 2017.  Meanwhile, we are also pleased to see our organic lettings growth and our increase in sales transactions exceeding market performance.

“The Group’s diversification into financial services has also delivered growth, and our late-2018 investment in MAB Glos will provide the platform from which to offer specialist high street mortgage advice through our network of lettings and estate agents. The Board believes that Belvoir is well-prepared to both meet the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities anticipated in 2019.”

Source: Letting Agent Today

Belvoir scoops gold award for consistent customer service

January 23, 2019

BELVOIR Lettings has scooped a coveted award as it celebrates its 10th anniversary.

The Castle Street letting agency picked up the Gold Award for Lettings as judged by the British Property Awards (BPA).

Following several rounds of mystery shopping, Belvoir was found to have the highest-rated customer service in the area.

Franchise owner James Whalley said: “I am extremely proud to have received this award and thanks must go to the dedication of our team to deliver such an outstanding service.

“We are 10 years old as a family business this year and it is such an honour to be recognised in this way.

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“This is the pinnacle of our achievements and ranks number one. Belvoir consistently strives to provide a first class service to its landlords and tenants alike and this has certainly paid off.”

The letting agent has won awards previously for its charity work raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support, and was also awarded ‘Charity Champion’ in 2013 and 2014.

Related: Belvoir Lettings shares rise as it hails success of its assisted acquisitions programme

Following on from the Gold Award win, James says he and the team won’t be resting on their laurels in 2019 and have already set out plans for the future.

He said: “Our goal for this year is to continue expanding our business and help landlords secure properties to satisfy the high demand from tenants.

“We will also continue to build on our customer service to ensure our customers receive the best service possible. ”

Source: Northwich Guardian

Belvoir Lettings shares rise as it hails success of its assisted acquisitions programme

January 15, 2019

The assisted acquisitions programme has been embraced by all three networks within the Belvoir Group, with 11 taken up by the Belvoir network, 13 by Northwood and 2 by Newton Fallowell.

Belvoir Lettings PLC (LON:BLV) shares rose on Thursday after the UK’s largest property franchise group exceeded its 2018 target for assisted acquisitions by its franchisees.

The AIM-listed lettings agent said beefing up the assisted acquisitions programme is a core part of its growth strategy.

During 2018, franchisees completed on 26 transactions under the Belvoir-assisted acquisitions programme, increasing the acquired annualised network revenue to £6.9mln; the target for the year had been £6.6mln.

These acquisitions are expected to add in excess of £600,000 a year of recurring management service fees, which is the main revenue stream for the group. It also adds more than 4,400 managed properties, increasing the portfolio by 7%.

The Belvoir Group now represents over 62,000 managed properties.

In comparison with 2017, the average size of the business acquired increased by 85% to £266,000 in 2018 from £144,000 annual revenue in 2017. This reflects a contraction of the number of agents in the sector not only among the smaller operators but also many of the larger independent agents, as the impact of the number of landlords selling their properties due to a less favourable tax regime and the increased regulation on lettings agents took effect.

Belvoir provides funding of up to 30% of the purchase price through its assisted acquisitions team. In 2018, the group contributed £660,000 in total towards purchases, representing around 9% on average of the purchase price.

Related: Property and Estate Agent Franchises UK – What Buying an Estate Agency Franchise Means for UK Franchisees

CEO lauds franchise opportunities

“The Assisted Acquisitions programme, now in its sixth year, has gone from strength to strength and continues to grow. Since 2014 we have provided both commercial and financial support to 70 of our franchise owners, many of whom have doubled the size of their business overnight,” said Dorian Gonsalves, the chief executive officer of Belvoir Lettings.

Related: Belvoir Lettings Interim Earnings Rise, Declares Unchanged Dividend

“We continue to witness consolidation within the sector, a trend which supports our 2018 prediction that there will be 20% fewer agents by the end of 2020. This is evidenced by our acquisition opportunities pipeline being far greater than in previous years,” he added.

“Our franchisees are professionally and financially equipped to take advantage of these opportunities and we currently have 83 franchise owners who are actively searching for a suitable match within their territory. Belvoir is here to support our franchisees’ entrepreneurial growth ambitions, which will benefit the group and our shareholders alike,” Gonsalves concluded.

In afternoon trading, shares in Belvoir Lettings were up 1.1% at 92.50p.

Source: Proactive Investors