Franchise giants Belvoir has revealed strong figures in a trading statement to shareholders - but it’s warning that 2021 remains shrouded in uncertainty despite the success of the vaccine roll out so far.
The Belvoir Group revenue increased 13 per cent last year to £21.7m, around half of which was attributable to its acquisition of the Lovelle network. Strikingly, it achieved growth across all three markets: lettings, sales and financial services, despite Covid-19 disruption.
Management Service Fees, the group's core income from franchisees, grew by three per cent to £9.1m and the 20 per cent boost in pre-tax profit - to £6.7m - marked the 24th consecutive year of profit growth.
Its deals during the year included a strategic alliance with The Nottingham Building Society leading to 11 dual-branded branches, and exceeding its own target of having 200 financial advisers in branches. As well as the Lovelle acquisition, the Belvoir Group recently snapped up the the Nicholas Humphreys network of 18 franchise and three corporate-owned estate and lettings agencies for £4.0m in cash.
Even so, the Coronavirus looms large in the statement.
“Whilst the successful roll out of the current vaccination programme provides light at the end of the tunnel in terms of pandemic restrictions, the board is mindful of the uncertainty over the longer-term implications for the economy. However, having traded successfully through 2020 and given the government's initiatives to support the housing market, the board has confidence in the resilience of the business model” explains non-executive chairman Michael Stoop.
And chief executive Dorian Gonsaves says: “Whilst we are confident that the business will continue to operate effectively given the government's policies to keep the housing sector moving, we are also hopeful that the successful roll out of the Covid-19 vaccine will see the return of some semblance of normality and stability in 2021.”