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LSL ready for more buys as profits double

LSL Property Services says it is well placed for further acquis- itions following profits of £36m in 2010, more than double the £16.6m figure in 2009.

In January 2010, the group bought Halifax Estate Agencies from Lloyds Banking Group. The group’s profit includes a £10m gain made by the firm.

In May last year, LSL bought Home of Choice, now First Complete, for £400,000 and acquired Pink Home Loans in November for £1.6m.

LSL says these businesses have not contributed materially to profit figures and their prof- itability will be constrained until the mortgage market improves.

Overall, income from the group’s financial services arm, which includes First Complete and Pink Home Loans, rose by 6 per cent to £13.3m from £12.5m.

LSL chairman Roger Matthews says: “We are confident the group can build on the market share gains made in 2010 and grow the business even in these market conditions.

“With a very strong balance sheet, we are well placed to grow both organically and through further acquisitions in the current market and deliver further substantial growth when transactions volumes recover.”

First Action Finance head of communications Jonathan Cornell says: “I think it is very encouraging. We tend to get carried away with writing off the intermediary and property sectors and you have clearly got a business here which is forging ahead in those sectors.

“LSL has got deep pockets and is not afraid to spend money on businesses it thinks will fit. Its results are impressive.”

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