LSL Property Services sees turnover fall after branch restructure

LSL Property Services has seen its turnover continue to fall after the company restructured its branch network.

In a trading update to shareholders the Newcastle-headquartered firm said its turnover had fallen by 3% over the 10 months ending October 31.

The decline in sales increased in recent months, with revenues down 8% during the four months to October 31.

LSL blamed the downturn on a “relatively subdued sales market” but added that its decision to shrink its branch network across its Your Move and Reeds Rains brands also impacted revenues.

The changes saw the group close branches with overlapping areas and create larger keystone branches in their place.

Your Move is owned by LSL Property Services Plc
(Image: pa)

Nevertheless, estate agency revenue was down 19% during the four months.

Ian Crabb, LSL’s CEO, said: “LSL has delivered a creditable performance in the 10 months to 31st October 2019.

“This performance has been delivered during a period when market activity levels have remained subdued given the continued uncertainty over the UK and global political and economic environment.

“LSL’s performance illustrates the benefits of the Group’s diversified strategy and the self-help initiatives being taken to respond to current market conditions.

“Until we have greater clarity on the political backdrop, we remain cautious on the market outlook for 2020 and we will continue to monitor market conditions closely.

“The group’s diversified strategy combined with its robust balance sheet gives the board confidence of the opportunities for further positive progress for the group.”

Meanwhile, LSL’s financial services division saw its revenue fall 4% during the four months, with the firm again blaming the drop on the branch closures.

However, the group’s surveying division performed well and turnover soared by 18%. The growth was helped along by a contract win with Lloyds Bank Plc, which started in September 2018.

LSL’s net bank debt increased during the year, from £47.4m to £54.8m. The increased borrowing was used to fund a number of acquisitions, including the firm’s acquisition of six letting books during the year.

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