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LSL profits plummet due to 'soft' market

LSL profits plummet due to 'soft' market

LSL Property Services saw a significant drop in operating profit because of decreasing margins across the company’s divisions.

In the company's interim results for the six months to the end of June 2018, LSL reported operating profits down by 48 per cent to £7.4m and pre-tax profits down by 51 per cent to £6.4m.

But the company also saw a slight increase in revenue to £152.9m from £151.5m - a growth described as "resilient" in the context of a challenging residential property market.

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The residential property services provider, which incorporates estate agency and surveying businesses, reported a positive outlook in its financial services division with a increase in revenue of 20 per cent, to a total of £40.8m.

Simon Embley, chairman of LSL Property Services, said while market conditions in the first half of 2018 had been softer than the board predicted, the company's financial performance in the first half of the year had been as expected.

He said: "The group has delivered a resilient first half revenue performance in the context of challenging residential property market conditions.

"Whilst residential sales volumes remained suppressed, revenue trends in other parts of our business are more robust due to our ongoing self-help measures.

"Our lettings and financial services businesses continue to perform positively and financial services income now represents 33 per cent of total estate agency division income."

LSL's estate agency division accounted for £121m of the company's revenue - with around £40m of this coming from financial services - while the surveying division generated £31m.

The company’s financial services products include mortgages products, pure protection products and general insurance products.

In January LSL bought the advice network Personal Touch for £4.8m and said it had performed in line with expectations and contributed to strong performance in the company’s financial services arm.

LSL said it was evaluating "further growth opportunities" for its financial services business.

 rachel.addison@ft.com