(Adds comments, details about full year results, background)
Jan 31 (Reuters) - London-focussed estate agent Foxtons Group Plc on Wednesday said it expected an 80 percent drop in 2018 adjusted core earnings, hit by a fall in sales volumes and rise in operating expenses, adding that 2019 will be “challenging”.
Foxtons, known for its chain of coffee shop-style offices, said transactions in 2018 fell from last year’s historically low levels in London, making it one of the “toughest sales markets” ever.
Demand for London property has been sluggish in many areas due to a rise in stamp duty property tax and after Britain voted to leave the European Union.
“Looking ahead, we expect trading conditions in the sales market to remain challenging throughout 2019,” Chief Executive Officer Nic Budden said.
Foxtons, which had been a symbol of the British capital’s property boom, closed six of its branches last year, leaving it with 61 offices that cover more than 85 percent of the city.
The company said it expects full-year revenue for the year ended Dec. 31 to fall 6 percent to 111 million pounds ($145.78 million). ($1 = 0.7614 pounds) (Reporting by Samantha Machado and Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)