Estate agent Foxtons' profits hit by EU referendum
Foxtons has become the latest firm to take a hit from Britain's decision to quit the European Union, with profits taking a dive and the firm reviewing its expansion plans.
Profits at the estate agent plummeted 42% in the first half of the year, from £18.1 million to £10.5 million, as the London property market cools in the wake of the referendum result. Revenue also dipped 3% to £68.6 million.
Chief executive Nic Budden said: "Uncertainty surrounding the EU referendum led to slow residential property markets in London during the first half of the year.
"Second quarter experienced a sharp contraction and we believe that the overall level of property sales transactions made in London during the first half of the year is substantially down on last year. We are reviewing the pace of our branch openings over the short-term and may slow the pace of expansion in response to market conditions."
Mr Budden added that Foxtons expects "a prolonged period of further uncertainty", with the London market unlikely to recover before the end of the year.
Neil Wilson, markets analyst at ETX Capital, said: "Foxton's results paint a pretty dire picture for the property market, particularly in London. Buyers and sellers were clearly holding back ahead of the vote, but the real question is whether they keep calm and carry on with their purchases, or pull out.
"It's unlikely that we'll see much uplift until at least Article 50 is triggered and there is greater certainty about the post-EU Britain."