Foxtons shares fall 7.9% amid mixed quarterly sales

Foxtons Group (LSE: FOXT) announced on Thursday that its total revenue in the latest quarter showed a marginal increase, accompanied by a mixed yet broadly ‘robust’ outlook for the remainder of the year. The stock, however, faced a 7.9% decline, closing at 35.00 pence in London.

In the third quarter of 2023, Foxtons reported a modest rise in revenue to £43.9 million, a slight uptick from the £43.8 million recorded in the same period last year. The results were marked by distinctive trends within the company’s diverse business segments.

The Lettings arm of the estate agency witnessed a notable upswing, with revenue increasing by 8% to £31.6 million, up from the previous year’s £29.2 million. In contrast, Sales revenue experienced a 17% decline, settling at £9.9 million, while Financial Services revenue fell by 13% to £2.4 million.

Over the first nine months of 2023, Foxtons noted an overall 5% growth in total revenue, reaching £114.8 million compared to £108.9 million in the corresponding period of the previous year. Within this time frame, Lettings revenue surged by 18% to £81.3 million, whereas Sales revenue plummeted by 18% to £26.9 million. Financial Services revenue also contracted by 12%, dropping to £6.6 million.

Guy Gittins, the Chief Executive Officer of Foxtons, expressed his contentment with the performance, stating, “We have delivered a third consecutive quarter of market outperformance as operational upgrades take effect. Our investment in fee earners, training, data, and brand is yielding results sooner than I expected… Market share gains across Lettings, Sales, and Financial Services have enabled us to grow revenue year-to-date despite reduced sales market transaction volumes, a result of the higher interest rate environment.”

As per Foxtons’ predictions in its interim results, the rate of rental price growth moderated in comparison to the first half of the year, aligning with more normalised supply and demand dynamics.

Looking ahead, Foxtons anticipates a robust performance in the fourth quarter, with the supply of available rental properties expected to improve. However, year-on-year rental increases are likely to moderate. The company also foresees that sales revenue will be lower than the previous year but that buyer demand will surpass the levels witnessed in the fourth quarter of 2022, which was significantly affected by the September 2022 mini-budget.

As a result, Foxtons expects the under-offer pipeline to be “significantly higher than the prior year” at the end of December, driving year-on-year revenue growth in the first quarter of 2024. Additionally, the company foresees full-year earnings to be in line with consensus.

Guy Gittins commented, “The operational progress made to date, and our continued focus on growing non-cyclical and recurring revenues to decouple earnings from sales market volatility, gives me confidence that we will continue to deliver against our strategic priorities and medium-term profit ambitions.”