Lettings drive up profits at Newcastle-based Your Move

Estate agent Your Move boosted pre-tax profits to £2.7m from £256,000 in 2012 thanks to a buoyant year for lettings

Estate agents' for sale and to let signs in Crook
Estate agents' for sale and to let signs in Crook

Estate agent Your Move boosted pre-tax profits to £2.7m from £256,000 in 2012 thanks to a buoyant year for lettings.

Based in Newcastle, the real estate and letting agency saw operating profits top £2.1m last year, a rise of 1730% on the previous year’s £104,000, during a 12-month period in which overall staffing levels were increased and the number of branches fell.

Turnover increased by 9% during the period, from £64.5m to £70.2m, a figure the firm said was driven by gains in average sales fee along with continued growth on lettings and financial services.

Average commission fees were £2,102, a small rise on the previous year’s £2,036 and number of owned branches were reduced by 4% over the 12 months, from 230 to 221, while the number of franchised branches also dropped to 76 from 84.

The figures mark a massive improvement on annual accounts filed in 2008 when homes sales plunged, resulting in Your Move’s revenues plummeting by a third to £47m and a loss of £5.7m was posted

The business was then involved in 10,000 fewer transactions from its network of branches and its internet presence, due to the slowing housing market.

Formerly known as GA Accident Property Services Limited the business changed its name to Your-move.co.uk Limited in November 1999, and it has grown to offer services to buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants, and developers.

It offers buying and renting services for renting and also offers services for landlords, including finding tenants, rent collection and property management and despite the tough market, the firm said it had seen lettings grow substantially over the year and that it continues to seek different business streams to strengthen the company through downturns.

The firm said: “The company is expected to generate positive cashflows on its own account for the foreseeable future. The business will continue to develop counter cyclical income streams and to assess opportunities along the value chain which will strengthen the ability of the estate agency business to trade successfully through market downturns.

“Lettings have grown substantially over the last year and there is continued focus on this growth area.”

Operating as a subsidiary of LSL Property Services Plc, the firm said it won several industry awards over 2012 across the business.

Monthly staff numbers averaged 1,765 in 2012, up from the 1,695 recorded for 2011. Employee costs rose to £43.4m from £40.4m, and money paid out to the highest director rose from £127,923 to £154,306, excluding pension costs. Total payouts to directors came to £1.74m, up from £1.4m, of which £650,431 included pensions.

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