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M Winkworth Plc (WINK)

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Wednesday 16 January, 2019

M Winkworth Plc

Trading Update and Dividend Declaration

RNS Number : 1644N
M Winkworth Plc
16 January 2019
 

16 January 2019

M Winkworth plc

Trading Update and Dividend Declaration

 

M Winkworth plc ("Winkworth" or the "Company"), the leading franchisor of real estate agencies, is pleased to announce the following trading update for the financial year ending 31 December 2018.

The UK residential sales market continued to be challenging in 2018, characterised by low availability of stock. Prime central London prices stabilised some 15-20% below the peak levels seen in 2014, while prices in greater London slipped by up to 10%. Although the number of transactions in London remained weak, we are pleased to report that, according to data collated by TwentyCI, in 2018 Winkworth ranked second by number of exchanges and third by number of new listings.

Despite rental prices being broadly flat for the year, the Company achieved a further increase in revenue from lettings and management and this business line now accounts for half of group turnover.

Total revenues rose on 2017 and are expected to be within 5% of market expectations while, subject to audit, profits before tax are expected to be higher than in 2017 and slightly ahead of expectations of £1.4m. The Company expects to announce its final results for the year ended 31 December 2018 on or around 3 April 2019.

Over the course of the year the Company opened six new offices, merged four with others in neighbouring vicinities and closed one, raising the total number of franchised outlets at year end to 100 (versus 99 in 2017). The number of new franchise applicants rose by almost 80% in 2018 and this year we expect to see further opportunities to grow new franchises.

After returning 9p per share of surplus funds to shareholders in July, Winkworth ended the year with a strong net cash position and the directors are pleased to announce that the Company will pay an increased dividend of 1.9p (2017: 1.85p) per share for the fourth quarter of 2018, bringing total dividend payments declared for the year to 7.45p (2017: 7.25p).

The timetable is as follows:

Ex-Dividend Date * 

24/01/19

Record Date **  

25/01/19

Expected Payment Date 

25/02/19

 

*  Shares bought on or after the ex-dividend date will not qualify for the dividend

** Shareholders must be on the Winkworth share register on this date to receive this dividend

 

Dominic Agace, Chief Executive Officer of Winkworth, commented:

"We are proud of what the Group was able to achieve in 2018 in a market still suffering from uncertainty, and this is further testimony to the hard work and dedication of our franchisees. While the outlook remains hard to forecast, the market fundamentals remain sound with interest rates low, real wage growth and record levels of employment. We are encouraged by the sharp increase in applicants on our site for both property purchases and rentals seen in December."

For further information please contact:

M Winkworth Plc                                                                           Tel : 020 7355 0206

Dominic Agace (Chief Executive Officer)

Andrew Nicol (Chief Financial Officer)

Milbourne (Public Relations)                                                        Tel : 07903 802545

Tim Draper

Stockdale Securities Ltd (NOMAD and Broker)                          Tel : 020 7601 6100

Robert Finlay

Richard Johnson

Henry Willcocks

 

About Winkworth

Winkworth is a leading franchisor of residential real estate agencies and is admitted to trading on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange.

 

Established in Mayfair in 1835, Winkworth has a pre-eminent position in the mid to upper segments of the central London residential sales and lettings markets. In total the company operates from some 100 offices, having expanded consistently in recent years.

 

The franchise model allows entrepreneurial real estate professionals to provide the highest standards of service under the banner of a well-respected brand name and to benefit from the support and promotion that Winkworth offers. Franchisees deliver in-depth local knowledge and a highly personalised service to their clients.

 

www.winkworthplc.com

 


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