Belvoir Lettings PLC – AGM Trading Update and Board Changes
Belvoir Lettings PLC (AIM:BLV), the UK's largest property franchise, provides the following update in relation to current trading and changes to its Board ahead of the Group's Annual General Meeting to be held at 10:00 a.m. today.
The Board is delighted to report that trading during the first quarter of the current financial year has been robust. Belvoir is outperforming the three key markets in which it operates, namely residential lettings, property sales and financial services. Growth in Management Service Fees ("MSF") from lettings of 6.3% was noticeably ahead of the reported year-on-year rental index of 1.2%, growth of 10.3% from sales MSF compared with a drop of 1.5% in property transactions, and net banking from financial services (on a like-for-like basis) was up 20%.
Consequently, the Board is confident of meeting market expectations for the year ending December 2019.
Acquisition and diversification continue to be integral to the Group's growth strategy. In the year to date Belvoir's Assisted Acquisitions programme has supported six franchisees to acquire a local competitor adding £1.2m of network revenue, nearly 800 managed properties and over £0.1m p.a. of recurring MSF. There are still £2.0m of deals currently with lawyers and a strong pipeline of further opportunities to underpin the Group's growth target for 2019.
Our second financial services acquisition in November 2018 has provided diversification both for our franchisees and the Group, with revenue from financial services increasing almost threefold in the first quarter.
The Company also announces that after 24 years of service, Mike Goddard, Belvoir's founder and the non-executive Chairman is today retiring from the Board. Michael Stoop, who was appointed as a non-executive to the Board in March 2018 takes over the role of Chairman at the end of the AGM today.
Dorian Gonsalves, CEO, commented:
"The Board is very encouraged by trading in Q1 with our franchise model proving that, even in a challenging year for the property market, it has the resilience to overcome and indeed benefit from changes in the sector.
"Belvoir was founded by Mike in 1995 with his wife Stephanie, and I have had the pleasure of working alongside Mike since 2005. Through his entrepreneurial spirit and his passion for franchising, Belvoir has become the largest property franchise group in the UK. I would like to express my personal and the Board's sincere gratitude for all that Mike has done and achieved as founder, CEO and Chairman over the past 24 years.
"We welcome as Chairman, Michael Stoop, who has over 40 years' experience of the property franchise sector and has already made a significant contribution since joining the Board in March 2018."