Foxtons cuts earnings outlook as 2018 proved 'toughest' year in London market

Estate agency group Foxtons on Thursday cut its outlook earnings growth and as it grappled with an ongoing reduction in house prices across in London. The company flagged a £16m asset write down owing to branch closures and falling house prices.

Adjusted earnings (EBITDA) for the year was expected to be approximately £3m, well below the £15m reported last year, the company said, blaming falling sales volumes and planned increases in operating expenses.

For the year months ended 30 September, revenue fell to £36m from £43m a year earlier as lettings revenue was largely flat.

Lettings revenue rose to £67.1m, up from £66m a year earlier.

Revenues in the company's mortgage broking business, Alexander Hall, fell to £8m from £9m a year earlier.

In addition, we expect to recognise a non-recurring charge of circa £16m in 2018 of which £13m is non-cash.

The company said it recently closed six branches, taking its total number of branches in London to 61 branches.

'2018 was one of the toughest sales markets we have ever had in London with transactions falling from last year's historically low levels,' the company said.

'Looking ahead, we expect trading conditions in the sales market to remain challenging throughout 2019. We have become accustomed to operating in these conditions and are well placed to withstand them given our leaner cost base and continued strong balance sheet with no debt.' At 9:00am: (LON:FOXT) Foxtons Group PLC share price was -1p at 52.5p