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Belvoir Group to hit pre-coronavirus targets as property market activity surges back

Since mid-May, the group said there has also been a surge of activity due to pent-up demand

Belvoir Group PLC -

Belvoir Group PLC (LON:BLV), the lettings and estate agent, said its interim revenue and profits were both well ahead of a year ago despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown.

Since the restrictions on the housing sector were lifted in mid-May, there has been a surge of activity due to pent-up demand, Belvoir said in a trading update for the half-year to June. 

The AIM-listed group’s offices were closed between March 25 and May 13, but June was a record-breaking month for housing activity at its estate agent Newton Fallowell and also in its mortgage division, the firm said.

Group network revenue in June rose by 12% compared with a year earlier, with the lettings business up by 17%.

Net profit is now line with management's pre-COVID-19 expectations set at the start of the year, said Belvoir, which added that it also expects to meet its pre-lockdown targets for the year.

The company intends to reinstate the dividend that was suspended due to the coronavirus uncertainty and possibly even when its interim results are published depending on circumstances.

Net debt dropped to £5.7mln from £6.9mln over the past six months.

Belvoir said franchise network income dipped 1% over the half-year but property division income rose 9% partly helped by the acquired Lovelle network and financial services commission rose by 7%.

In the pre-close trading update, Dorian Gonsalves, Belvoir's chief executive added: "This strong group performance once again demonstrates the incredible resilience of the franchise business model in the face of both changes within the sector and challenges affecting the wider economy.  

"With a return to pre-Covid levels of activity or better since housing sector restrictions were lifted, and the positive impact of the stamp duty reductions still to take effect, we are confident that the Group is well-positioned to capitalise on the current market upturn and to take advantage of the opportunities arising from more challenging economic conditions."

Quick facts: Belvoir Group PLC

Price: 168.4 GBX

AIM:BLV
Market: AIM
Market Cap: £59.2 m
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on 30/5/18

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