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Belvoir Group expects bounce back after housing market allowed to restart

Snapshot

  • Franchised lettings agency group
  • Also owns financial services business providing mortgages
  • Confident of weathering coronavirus storm
  • Expects swift recovery in lettings market
Belvoir Group PLC

Quick facts: Belvoir Group PLC

Price: 131 GBX

AIM:BLV
Market: AIM
Market Cap: £45.98 m
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What Belvoir does

Belvoir Group PLC (LON:BLV) is the UK’s largest property lettings franchise.

Founded in 1995, the firm currently has over 300 offices managing around 67,000 properties.

The company also operates a financial services arm which provides its customers with mortgages and other property-related financial services products.

 

How it is doing

Belvoir Group profits in 2019 will be 'comfortably ahead' of expectations, the group said in January, after revenues surged ahead in spite of the impact of Brexit and the tenant fee ban.

Revenue at the lettings agency jumped by 43% to £19.5m with the property division achieving 6% growth.  

Income from franchisees increased by 4% to £8.8mln (2018: £8.5mln), while at the year-end Belvoir's portfolio of managed properties had risen by 7% to a new record of 67,000. 

Coronavirus

The government announced the re-opening of the housing market on 13 May, a month earlier than planned. 

Belvoir expects a swift recovery especially on the lettings side as this is a fast-moving market and people might have been fed up with their house during the lockdown, while landlords will be keen to get voids filled as soon as possible.

The letting agent has been readying for reduced levels of property sales and mortgage transactions and a higher risk of bad debts and non-payment of rent due to coronavirus restrictions.

Belvoir has also so far seen a far lower level of arrears than it predicted when the lockdown was introduced and did not lose any franchisees to financial distress.

A range of possible downside outcomes for the rest of the calendar year and 2021 have been modelled and Belvoir says it is confident it has the resources to weather the storm and to operate within its bank covenants for the foreseeable future. 

There will no final dividend for 2019 with the group conserving cash as a precaution. 

 

What the boss says: Dorian Gonsalves, chief executive

“I think there will be lots of pent-up demand... On a macrolevel it will take some time for the market to return to normal, but on a microlevel (as a franchise model we are interested in the micro, not the macro) I think people will want to move house."

"It's not just people that want to move house because they want more space or a bigger garden, it may be down to affordability if someone has lost their job, they're still on furlough or there's a question mark over their employment going forward. It may be that they want to downsize and that fuels the property market."

"The fundamentals haven't changed."

 

Video

 

Inflexion points

  • Profits and revenues to grow for 23rd consecutive year
  • CEO says full benefits from the financial services only just beginning
  • Tenant fee ban impact less than expected
  • Has financial strength to weather coronavirus crisis says CEO
  • Housing market reopened earlier than expected
  • Expects swift recovery in letting market

 

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Belvoir CEO delighted housing restrictions have been lifted and expects...

Belvoir Group PLC’s (LON:BLV) Dorian Gonsalves says the re-opening of the housing market by the government has come earlier than expected. The ban on people moving and renting houses was lifted on Wednesday, two months after the lockdown was introduced but a month earlier than it was...

1 week, 6 days ago

3 min read