Property Franchise Group revenue jumps in acquisitions and strong agency demand

February 2, 2022

Property Franchise Group has reported an unaudited 119% increase in sales to £24.1m helped by the acquisition of Hunters and the expansion of their hybrid agency business.

The company said the strong sales figures meant full year profit was likely to be ahead of current market expectations.

Property Franchise Group is the largest property franchisor in the UK and manages the second largest estate agency network including brands Martin & Co, EweMove, Hunters, CJ Hole, Ellis & Co, Parkers, Whitegates, Mullucks & Country Properties.

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

The group’s revenue was boosted by the Hunters acquisition which was completed in 2021. The £25m deal added 209 branches to the Property Franchise Group and is responsible for a large proportion of the groups additional revenue I’m 2021.

The acquisition of Mortgage Genie for an initial £400,000 was also completed in 2021 to help the group financial services offering.

“The Board and I are delighted to report that the excellent trading momentum seen in the first six months of 2021 continued in the second half. We have built a fantastic senior management team across the Group with an incredible combined knowledge and experience of the market,” said Chief Executive Officer, Gareth Samples.

Related: Property & Estate Agency – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“The value of their guidance and support can be seen reflected in the fact that we are seeing more and more people interested in joining our franchise network, as well as existing franchisees wishing to expand their representation.”

Property Franchise Group said they expected preliminary results for the year ended 31st December 2021 to be released on Tuesday 5th April 2022.

Source:  UK Investor Magazine

Property Franchise Group shares rally over 8% on modest progress

February 1, 2020

Property Franchise Group (LON:TPFG) saw its shares rally during the Tuesday session, after posting modest progress for the financial year ended 31 December 2019.

The company’s statement to its shareholders read,

“The Group has successfully navigated a difficult year for UK residential property and performed in line with market expectations, delivering growth in both revenues and management service fees. Our franchisees successfully mitigated much of the impact of the tenant fee ban and achieved a record performance for lettings revenue. The Group’s hybrid brand, EweMove, is also anticipated to show another significant improvement in profit over the prior year.”

Property Franchise Group said the challenging conditions owed somewhat to the impact of the Tenant Fee Ban, which was passed in June 2019, alongside wider macroeconomic forces.

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

Despite the difficult backdrop, the group reported year-on-year growth in overall revenue, from £11.2 million, to £11.4 million. Alongside this, the company’s Management Service Fees rose from £9.4 million to £9.6 million, and the number of tenanted managed properties serviced increased from 55,000 to 58,000 during the same period.

The company added that during FY19, its assisted acquisitions programme supported 24 acquisitions by franchisees and added 2,381 managed properties. It continued, saying that it had continued to invest in technology, and that its pay-per-click campaign via the traditional high street brands’ customer websites, had seen a 54% increase in leads, up to 47,000.

It appears TPFG have managed to place themselves among the ranks of the successful, in spite of the adverse conditions which have unsettled some of their equally established counterparts.

AFI Development (LON: AFRB), for instance, pointed to “challenging market conditions” as the reason for their underwhelming performance. The Russia-focused company said its fall in profits and residential sales could be attributed to the state of the domestic economy.

Likewise, Schroder Real Estate Investment Trust (LON: SREI) also complained about the backdrop of a ‘challenging market’, which saw its NAV contract and prompted it to adjust its strategy.

Property Franchise Group comments

The company’s Chief Executive, Ian Wilson, responded to the update:

“Our ability to deliver revenue growth and continued operational progress over the year, notwithstanding the market headwinds, is testament to the strength of our business and the franchise model.”

“Looking ahead, there are numerous opportunities for us to now build further momentum across the business, as we continue to invest in our traditional brands and EweMove remains robust. In parallel we will focus our attention on growing a national mortgage brokerage network under our newly created financial services division.”

Related: Property & Estate Agency – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“This is my last year with TPFG and I’m delighted that we have continued the journey that we started with our IPO in December 2013, having materially increased the dividend every year. We are dedicated to continuing to create value for all our stakeholders and are confident we will continue to do so in the year ahead.”

Investor notes

Property Franchise Group shares rallied 8.37% or 18.00p, to 233.00p per share at the end of the Tuesday session 28/01/19 17:08 GMT.

Looking ahead, the company said,

“Early indications of improving market conditions underpin our expectation that the volume of house sales should increase in 2020. The lettings market is also anticipated to remain healthy, with rising rents and increased confidence leading to more opportunities for the Group’s franchisees to acquire competitors’ books than were available in 2019.”

“Post period end, the Group announced the launch of its “buy and build” Financial Services division and the appointment of Mark Graves to the new role of Financial Services Director.”

No broker forecasts were available for this stock, but the group’s p/e ratio stands at 16.17, and their dividend yield is agreeable at 3.61%.

By Jamie Gordon

Source: UK Investor Magazine

Property Franchise Group launches financial services division with “buy and build” strategy

January 16, 2020

The Property Franchise Group has launched a financial services division with a pledge to “buy and build”, by acquiring financial services businesses with direct FCA authorisation.

Mark Graves, who is an income protection insurance expert, has been appointed as financial services director, a non-board position at the group.

The group has acquired a 72.25% stake in Auxilium Partnership for a “non material sum”, which is protection advisory business launched by Graves in March 2019.

Auxilium Partnership will now sit under a subsidiary, Aux Group.

Ian Wilson, chief executive of The Property Franchise Group, said: “We are delighted to welcome Mark to the Group as financial services director.

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

“His industry credentials are top drawer, and he has both the contacts and commercial acumen to help us identify the winners as we scale our broker network.

“With the knowledge that protection assurance sales are key in bringing about improved operating margins for brokers, we are very pleased to have a protection advisory business joining us as our first financial services acquisition.”

The group has plans to make financial services available as a franchise opportunity, with the group holding the master franchise rights and delivering to its franchisees a separate financial services brand, back office systems, a supply of “whole of market” mortgage products and a compliance function.

The Property Franchise Group currently manages the following estate agency brands: CJ Hole; Ellis & Co; Ewemove; Martin & Co; Parkers; and Whitegates.

Mark Graves has 30 years’ experience at a senior level in the life assurance sector.

Related: Property & Estate Agency – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

He has held roles as managing director at Sesame Bankhall Group, head of network at Pink Network and managing director at Linear Financial Services.

Graves has long been a proponent for income protection insurance, and therefore it’s likely the businesses within the group will be expected to embrace protection.


Source: Property Wire

Property Franchise Group performs better than expected after fees ban

November 26, 2019

UK-based property company, the Property Franchise Group, updated the market on its trading on Wednesday, reporting that the second half of the financial year to date had remained strong, with management said to be confident that the group remained in line to achieve market expectations for the full year.

The AIM-traded firm said it had set a new record for lettings revenue at a franchisee level in the trading month of October, with franchisees reported lettings income of £5.96m.

Its board said significantly, that was achieved despite the loss of tenant fee income, following the ban on charging tenant fees coming into effect in England and Wales on 1 June.

Tenant fees had previously represented 16% of franchisee lettings revenue in those two countries.

The company put the performance largely down to mitigating actions encouraged by the group as a franchisor, that its franchisees had managed to alleviate the impact of the tenant fee ban, alongside “some pent-up tenant demand” feeding through.

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

It said that was a “clear demonstration” of the benefits of the franchise business model.

Growth in management commission – the recurring monthly fees which franchisees charge landlords for property management services – had increased 10% year-on-year from £3.88m in October 2018 to £4.28m this October.

The group said it believed it was the “high level of satisfaction” of its landlord clients that lay behind its better-than-expected progress in shifting the burden of cost from tenants to landlords, as clients of its franchisees would rather retain their services than do it themselves or instruct another agent.

It had previously advised investors that it could take until the end of 2020 to fully mitigate the lost revenue from the ban, but its management said it was now confident that the objective of full mitigation would be attained by June 2020 – one year after the introduction of the ban.

“We are delighted that the mitigating actions we’ve recommended to our franchisees have taken effect as hoped and at a good pace,” said chief executive officer Ian Wilson.

Related: Property & Estate Agency – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“We now expect to achieve full mitigation of the impact of the tenant fee ban a full six months earlier than originally hoped.”

Wilson said the firm’s ability to draw on its “wealth of industry experience” and act quickly to support its franchisee members provided it with an advantage in the market.

“At a challenging time for the industry, where many independent lettings agencies are considering leaving the sector, our group continues to show its strength.

“The sales market has softened further in the second half, however our lettings business is outperforming our budgeted expectations.

“Our franchise business model has proven to be remarkably resilient in these testing conditions and we expect this to continue.”

At 1423 GMT, shares in the Property Franchise Group were up 11.48% at 170p.

By Josh White

Source: ShareCast

Property Franchise Group brand snaps up another independent agency

June 7, 2019

A branch of national agency Parkers has bolstered its managed portfolio by acquiring independent company Samuel James.

Parkers’ Reading branch has also taken on six staff from Samuel James.

Parkers is one six brands under the Property Franchise Group umbrella, and Reading branch owner Craig Pearson – who also owns Parkers offices in nearby Woodley and Earley – says: “It was important to the owner that he found a buyer to continue looking after his clients as well as his current staff.

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

“We were extremely pleased and proud that we were seen as the agency to do all that based on our ethos and care for our existing clients.”

Pearson joined the brand as a sales negotiator in Bracknell in 1993 and has been branch manager at Reading since 1996; he purchased it in 1999.

Xperience and Whitegates managing director Kate Toland says: “Craig has always been extremely forward-thinking and hugely ambitious and I’m delighted to see this latest acquisition cross the finish line. He has built a superb team across three branches and the clients acquired from Samuel James will now benefit from that team’s superb levels of service and vast experience of the local area.”

Related: Property & Estate Agency – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Source: Letting Agent Today

Property Franchise Group sees ‘material’ results improvement

February 9, 2019

The Property Franchise Group said it expected to report a ‘material’ improvement in its annual results, in line with market expectations.

The company said its hybrid brand, EweMove, had traded profitably throughout the year and would show a significant improvement over 2017.

‘Consequently, the company expects to report trading for 2018 in line with market expectations and to show a material improvement on 2017 with enhanced margins,’ it said.

Revenue for the year through December rose 10% to £11.2m, while management service fees increased by 14% to £9.5m.

‘The early signs are that 2019 will be another challenging year for the property market with ongoing Brexit uncertainty having the potential to dampen sales transaction volumes,’ Property Franchise Group said.

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

‘The tenant fee ban, due for introduction on 1st June 2019 in England was previously anticipated in April 2019 and whilst it will reduce the group’s lettings revenues by around £0.5m in 2019, this impact will be less than anticipated.’

‘Overall, despite the challenges ahead, the group’s strong balance sheet and well-balanced exposure to certain opportunities which exist in a changing property marketplace gives the board confidence for the year ahead.’

Source: Shares Magazine

Property Franchise Group brand snaps up independent agency’s lets

January 5, 2019

Oxfordshire sales and lettings agency Parkers – one of the brands of The Property Franchise Group – has snapped up the managed units run by independent agent Robert Taylor Estate Agents.

Parkers Witney, a second generation family business recently rebranded from Martin & Co to Parkers, took on Robert Taylor’s portfolio of properties from the New Year.

Robert Taylor, based in Carterton, is Parkers Witney’s second major acquisition in four months after managing director Brendan Kay led the purchase of Oliver James (Witney) in September.

Related: Look who’s buying: Property Franchise Group sets new record for acquisitions

“We’re delighted to be taking on Robert Taylor’s portfolio of managed properties. It completes quite a year for us having already brought in Oliver James’s clients and rebranded as Parkers” explains Kay.

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

Parkers Witney describes itself as the only agent in West Oxfordshire to be awarded an ‘Exceptional’ grading for both sales and lettings in the 2019 Best Estate Agent Guide and was ranked among the top 10 estate agencies in the UK by the Property Academy’s EA Masters survey in 2018.

Source: Letting Agent Today

The Property Franchise Group snaps up city independent agency

October 30, 2018

A branch of The Property Franchise Group’s CJ Hole brand in Bristol has snapped up an independent lettings agency elsewhere in the city.

As well as taking on Piper Property’s portfolio of over 150 managed properties, four staff members of The Property Franchise Group have also been transferred along with the Piper premises on Church Road, which is now branded as CJ Hole Redfield.

Related: Look who’s buying: Property Franchise Group sets new record for acquisitions

CJ Hole Redfield owner Chris Hill now has seven offices in the Bristol area and has more than three decades of experience in the sales and lettings sector, over 20 of them with CJ Hole.

“Each office specialises in both sales and lettings and has a dedicated in-house property management team overseeing the portfolios” says Hill.

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

“Our portfolio of managed properties before the Piper Property acquisition was around 800 across all the branches, but is now in the region of 950.”

Source: Letting Agent Today

Property Franchise Expects Second-Half Performance Ahead Of First

September 12, 2018

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.”

Related: Property Franchise Group brand snaps up independent agency’s lets

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.

Source: Morningstar

Two-thirds of Property Franchise Group now on OTM, reveals chief executive who initially advised against it

August 21, 2018

Two-thirds of offices at The Property Franchise Group are now listing their properties at OnTheMarket, chief executive Ian Wilson has revealed.

He said: “I made no secret of it that I was not a fan when it launched. I actually advised our franchisees not to participate at launch.

“I thought it was not a good enough reason for agents to get together to have a pop at Rightmove – there had to be something in it for the consumer.”

However, a meeting with OTM chief executive Ian Springett persuaded Wilson that his franchisees might benefit by giving it a try – especially as it would be free.

Were all The Property Franchise Group’s offices to sign up to OTM – with a probable sweetener of free shares – it would be a major coup for the portal, to recruit what looks like its second biggest group after Spicerhaart.

Wilson said there was evidence that the launch of OTM has made no difference to Rightmove’s pricing plans, with increases continuing in line with what they were before the OTM launch.

Related: The Property Franchise Group snaps up city independent agency

However, there was evidence that Zoopla had had to ‘soften’ its own pricing ambitions.

Wilson says that offices now on OTM are averaging 50 leads from it per month.

Were the franchisees paying – and the large majority are not – Wilson says this would equate to £6 per lead.

He said: “What we cannot tell is whether these are unique leads or duplicates.

“However, we have a new group CRM system being switched on in September, from which we will be able to see whether leads we get from Rightmove, Zoopla and OTM are unique or duplicates.

“By next spring, we will be able to trace back each sale and each let back to the lead, and to which portal that lead came from.

“That information will help us decide whether OTM, charging around £300 a month, will be worth continuing with.

“We will be able to provide our francisees with fact-based evidence showing which portal produces the cheapest leads, which produces the highest proportion of unique leads, and which portal produces the most leads resulting in a sale or let.”

Wilson said that franchisees who sign up after a free trial could be in line for free shares in OTM.

He told EYE: “OTM has £36m of free shares to give away.” He said that the prospect of equity in OTM could be a compelling proposition for franchisees.

In a twist, though, it has emerged that some early OTM adopters in the group’s Xperience and Whitegates brands are in contractual disputes.

Wilson believes these can be overcome, given OTM’s clear enthusiasm to recruit a group of some 300 franchisees.

Wilson said he is concerned that Rightmove’s prices will continue to rise.

He said that, because of his firm’s group buying power, The Property Franchise Group pays less than the average £1,100 charged to small independents.

But, Wilson said, if because of poor market conditions and loss of income from the tenant fee ban, smaller agents go out of business, Rightmove could make up the lost revenue by reducing the volume discount.

Source: Property Industry Eye