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See the latest Coronavirus statistics from across the world on our world map SEE MAP UK Confirmed cases: 55,242 | UK Deaths: 6,159 | UK Recovered: 135 SEE MAP Italy Confirmed cases: 135,586 | Italy Deaths: 17,127 | Italy Recovered: 24,392 SEE MAP Spain Confirmed cases: 141,942 | Spain Deaths: 14,045 | Spain Recovered: 43,208 SEE MAP See the latest Coronavirus statistics from across the world on our world map SEE MAP UK Confirmed cases: 55,242 | UK Deaths: 6,159 | UK Recovered: 135 SEE MAP Italy Confirmed cases: 135,586 | Italy Deaths: 17,127 | Italy Recovered: 24,392 SEE MAP Spain Confirmed cases: 141,942 | Spain Deaths: 14,045 | Spain Recovered: 43,208 SEE MAP

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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

‘We beat the fees ban’ - franchisees see revenue growth

The Property Franchise Group, which has a string of major agency brands, has reported a strong performance in 2019 despite the lettings fees ban.

In a statement to shareholders it says it has “successfully navigated a difficult year for UK residential property...delivering growth in both revenues and management service fees...and achieved a record performance for lettings revenue.”

The statement - ahead of its formal full year figures in March - reveals that overall group revenue rose to £11.4m, slightly up on the 2018 figure of £11.2m. 

Management Service Fees rose to £9.6m from £9.4m and the number of tenanted managed properties serviced increased to around 58,000 at the year-end - in late 2018 it was 55,000. 

The group includes national lettings brand Martin & Co, West Country agency C J Hole, London operation Ellis & Co, plus Whitegates serving the Midlands and north of England, and Parkers operating along the M4 corridor. Central office assisted no fewer than 24 acquisitions by franchisees and added 2,381 managed properties. 

TPFG also expects its hybrid brand - EweMove - to perform strongly.

With regard to the fees ban, the statement says: “As expected, the ban tempered lettings revenues in H2 2019, however the group has made good progress with this initiative and is now confident that the objective of full mitigation will be attained by June 2020, a full six months ahead of the group's original plan.

Earlier this month TPFG announced the launch of its "buy and build" financial services division through which the group says it can create a financial services franchise.

Outgoing chief executive Ian Wilson says: "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.

"This is my last year with TPFG and I'm delighted that we have continued the journey that we started with our [stock market launch] 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."

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