March 11, 2014 / 7:57 AM / in 4 years

UK's Foxtons sees revenue growth as profits jump

LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) - London-focused estate agency Foxtons posted a 56.6 percent jump in profits in its first set of results since its September market debut, and said it was confident of growing revenue even if overall sales volumes in the capital do not pick up.

Foxtons, an icon of the London property market with its fleet of staff-driven Mini Cooper cars, said on Tuesday pretax profit for the year to end-December rose to 38.9 million pounds ($64.7 million), from 24.9 million pounds.

Group revenue increased by 16 percent to 139.2 million pounds. It proposed a total dividend of 5.44 pence per share, comprising of a final dividend of 1.70 pence and special dividend of 3.74 pence, equivalent to 15.4 million pounds.

Analysts were expecting pretax profits of 37.10-39 million pounds, on average revenues of 135.70 million pounds, Thomson Reuters data showed.

The company enjoyed a strong stock market float when its shares opened 19 percent above its offer price last year despite some concerns that the capital’s property market was running out of steam.

It warned that London was experiencing a flat market in terms of transactions due to a lack of housing stock, but said it achieved 22.5 percent growth in property sale volumes over the year due to the expansion of its branch network, which has seen it move into less central but increasingly popular London neighbourhoods such as Brixton and Crystal Palace.

“We remain confident that our organic expansion strategy together with our strong lettings business will enable us to continue to grow revenue even in a flat sales market,” Chief Executive Michael Brown said.

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