Winkworth posts record sales from stamp duty holiday…

Winkworth agents posted record sales income last year, attributed to the stamp duty holiday.

The London-listed agent franchise group revealed in its 2021 annual report yesterday that sales income was up by 64% at £39m.

Its share price opened up 5% yesterday morning off the back of the news, rising to 190p.

The report’s financial highlights are:
•    Franchised office network revenue up 36% to £64.8m (2020: £47.7m)  
•    Revenues up 47% to £9.45m (2020: £6.41m) 
•    Profit before taxation up 110% to £3.21m (2020: £1.53m) 
•    Year-end cash balance of £5.02m (2020: £4.66m)  
•    Sales income 60% of total revenues (2020: 50%) 
•    Six new franchises opened and two resold

Dominic Agace, chief executive of Winkworth, says: “The powerful post pandemic recovery drove a very buoyant property market in 2021, fuelled by extraordinary levels of activity around the time of the first proposed stamp duty deadline in June and then the extended deadline at the end of September, producing record months of sales income for the company.

“Despite concerns that the expiry of these incentives would lead to a lull, the fundamental desire to move continued to create strong buyer demand and resulted in a second half that exceeded our expectations, with growing interest in London and strong price growth in the country markets, where supply couldn’t keep up with demand.”

In total, six new offices were opened in 2021 in Eaton, Maida Vale, Wimbledon, Ferndown, Hellesdon and Tiverton.

Two existing offices in Ealing and Fulham were resold to new operators.

The report also revealed that Winkworth is looking to selectively increase the number of owners with equity stakes in local offices, where these are majority owned by the company. 

Simon Agace, non-executive chairman of Winkworth, says: “At our Tooting and Crystal Palace offices, where the company has majority stakes, the managers that we have backed have performed very well, achieving in excess of £2m of turnover in 2021. 

“From my inception of Winkworth’s franchise system in 1981, I have always backed teams of experienced estate agents to grow their operations. 

“The current management team has steadily and carefully continued this strategy to even greater effect. 

“We are a debt-free business and have advanced plans for investing in new franchises, while at all times maintaining a prudent level of cash reserves.”

Read Winkworth’s annual report.

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