Foxtons has issued a welcome statement to its new chief executive as it seeks to return to past glories.
Guy Gittins – who until earlier this year was chief executive of rival lettings and sales agency Chestertons – has worked in the past at Foxtons as junior negotiator and then sales manager at its south Kensington office.
Commenting on his return to Foxtons, he says: “Foxtons is part of the fabric of London life and I am absolutely delighted to be back, heading up the best estate agency in London and filled with the same excitement, anticipation and enthusiasm that I had almost 20 years ago to the day.
“Today Foxtons is the largest estate agency in London for Sales and Lettings instructions market share, and we have the most prominent brand.
“However, I am also convinced that with our incredibly talented team of people, unmatched coverage across the capital and the best local market knowledge honed over 40 years of success, we can do much more.
“We will need to focus harder on our core business, drive sales, enhance lettings growth, and ensure we revitalise our vigour and visibility in the marketplace. Over the next couple of months, I will be visiting all the front offices and I’m looking forward to meeting the Foxtons’ team.”
Foxtons has in recent years suffered shareholder revolts and criticism, particularly of its sales strategy in a challenging London market and with criticism of senior management bonuses.
However in July Foxtons revealed that it has a pipeline of what it calls “lettings portfolio targets” – lettings books which it wants to buy in the coming 12 months.
It says this strategy will help build on its current 27,500 lettings portfolio, which includes 2,500 added in the past 12 months thanks to the acquisitions of Gordon & Co and Stones Residential. Both of these are described as being “revenue enhancing” before the end of 2022.
In a trading statement to shareholders over the summer, Foxtons said its half year performance in the lettings sector saw £5.7m of revenue and £2.6m of profit. Across both lettings and sales revenue was up three per cent to £65.1m and pre-tax profits up 13 per cent to £6.2m.