Hunters thrives despite challenging market for estate agents
Estate agents Hunters Property on Thursday reported an increase in first-half profits after adding eight branches to its network and launching a revamped website.
In the six months ended 30 June, the company’s profit before tax increased 38% to £0.3m after network income jumped 2% to £17.9m and sales remained unchanged at £6.7m compared to a year ago.
Off the back of the results, the AIM-traded company declared an interim dividend of 0.8p per share, up from 0.7p a year ago.
Glynis Frew, chief executive, said: "We have delivered robust results in the six months to June 2018 against a backdrop of markets that have continued to contract in terms of completed sales transactions which HMRC reported as at June as being down 8.8% as against the same period last year."
Despite the market's depleted sales, Hunters’ board expects the company to perform better in the second half of the year and meet expectations of outperforming last year’s results over the full 12 months.
Plans to achieve this centre on the addition of new businesses to the company network and the firm’s "strong net asset position".
"Our view is that the challenging market is unlikely to improve in the foreseeable future, but our intention is to continue the industry's consolidation. The continuing work and support displayed by our staff and the franchise network is a great credit to the group," said Frew.
At the half year point, the firm’s net debt stood at £3m, up 32% compared to the same point last year, while cash and cash equivalents increased by 26% to £1.1m.
Hunters’ shares were up 0.51% at 49.50p at 0844 BST.