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LSL Property Services back in profit as surveying claims subside

MS Summit 2014

LSL Property Services made an £8.4m pre-tax profit in the first half of this year, a major turnaround on the £7.9m loss in the same period last year driven by valuation claims provisions.

Last year the property giant set aside £17.9m to deal with over-valuation claims but in its half-year results to 30 June, published today, it says claims have been broadly in line with expectations and it has made no extra cover.

It says the claims relate to a period of “high-risk lending” between 2004 and 2008.

The firm says the housing market has improved “significantly” since Easter and it expects it to grow for the rest of the year.

LSL letting revenue grew 9 per cent from £22.6m in the first half of 2012 to £24.7m this year, as residential sales income increased by 2 per cent to £34.9m, up from £34.1m.

It says the recent improvement in market transaction levels has resulted in a 10 per cent year on year increase in pipeline at 30 June. 

LSL, which owns Pink Network and First Complete, saw its financial services revenue grow by 9 per cent to £15.7m, up from £14.4m. In total the group arranged mortgage lending of £4bn during the first half compared to £3.6bn last year.

LSL chairman Roger Matthews says: “Market conditions and group performance have improved significantly since Easter. Current indications from lenders are that these early signs of recovery will be maintained.

“It is expected that the benefits from improved market transaction volumes will be seen in the second half and we are increasing the rate of investment to build capacity across both agency and surveying divisions to capitalise on greater activity.”

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