Belvoir Group posts 26th successive year of profit growth and record sales despite property market uncertainty
- Profits at the Lincolnshire-based firm tipped up marginally to £7.41m last year
- The strong result enabled the firm to cut its debts by more than three-quarters
- Belvoir said the UK’s property sector performed better than many had predicted
Belvoir Group has achieved its 26th consecutive year of profit growth, despite a more volatile property market and consumer weakness.
Post-tax profits at the Lincolnshire-based property group, which is one of Britain’s biggest franchised housing businesses with around 75,000 properties in its managed portfolio, grew marginally to £7.41million last year.
Belvoir’s revenue increased by 14 per cent to a record £33.7million, primarily driven by the recent acquisitions of financial services advisory provider TIME Group and personal estate agency Mr and Mrs Clarke.
Earnings: Lincolnshire-based Belvoir Group, one of the Britain’s biggest franchised housing firms, has recorded its 26th consecutive year of profitability
Turnover was further supported by higher lettings revenue offsetting the effects of lower housing sales as rising mortgage rates.
The strong result enabled the firm to slash its debts by more than three-quarters to £2million and announce a 6 per cent uplift in its total dividend to 9p per share.
Belvoir said the UK’s residential sector performed better than many had predicted at the start of last year, with property prices continuing to rise against a backdrop of interest rate hikes.
Housing transactions and mortgage volumes were especially impacted after former Prime Minister Liz Truss’s mini-budget in September, severely reducing confidence among potential homebuyers.
The value of new mortgages written in the three months following the controversial fiscal event was £58.4billion, a 25 per cent year-on-year decline, according to the Financial Conduct Authority.
Yet the AIM-listed company noted that many customers turned to remortgaging as the number of property purchase loans fell.
Chief executive Dorian Gonsalves also said Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement has ‘somewhat reassured borrowers and lenders’ and helped to improve competition in the mortgage market.
Belvoir said market uncertainty would ‘continue to have some impact’ during the first half of this year, but it expects to perform well against the wider market.
Compared to the final three months of 2022, the number of sales instructions and mortgage applications have increased by 9 per cent and 21 per cent, respectively, since the start of January.
‘We remain confident that the resilience and diversity of our business model and multi-brand strategy will enable the group to perform well against the market as a whole during 2023 and beyond,’ Gonsalves remarked.
Belvoir Group shares were just 0.2 per cent higher at 166.33p on Monday morning, although their value has contracted by over a quarter in the past six months.
Finncap analyst Guy Hewett said: ‘The current share price ascribes little value to the medium to long-term growth potential from a business that has proven adept at maximising market opportunities both organically and by acquisition.’