Hunters first half 'better than anticipated'

Hunters Property expects first half results to be better than expected, shareholders at the annual general meeting today will be told.

Chairman Kevin Hollinrake will say: "In the four months to April this year we have opened six new Hunters branches through organic growth and a further 15 branches with the March acquisition of Bristol-based Besley Hill, bringing our network to 204 branches as at 30 April 2017 (April 2016: 172).

"The group has a strong pipeline of agreed sales and has increased instructions in the four months to April against the same period last year, laying the ground for a comparatively strong second half performance.

"The first half year is expected to end better than anticipated considering the distortionary effect of the changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax for second homes which took place in March 2016, and we have confidence in the full year outcome for the group.

"The government consultation on its proposed ban on tenant fees has begun although our exposure is expected to be less significant than other lettings only based participants given our strong sales profile.

"The period of anticipation for a General Election is shorter than is usual so therefore so is the expected level of associated uncertainty.

"Finally I am delighted to announce our Customer Service Rating this year is for the third year running achieving 96% across both sales and lettings and we retain a healthy pipeline of parties looking to join the network."