* Pre-tax profit fell 54.1 pct, revenue down 11.4 pct
* Trading conditions to remain challenging
* Sales volumes to be below 2016 levels
* Lettings revenue fell 1 pct in 2016
* Shares 1.8 pct lower in early trading
(Adds details, quotes)
By Justin George Varghese and Costas Pitas
March 8 London-focused estate agent Foxtons
was hit by a slump in demand due to a property tax
increase and Britain's vote to leave the European Union last
year and predicted on Wednesday that 2017 would be tough for
Foxton's pre-tax profit fell to 18.8 million pounds ($23
million), below the average 19.6 million pounds forecast in a
Thomson Reuters poll of analysts, while its revenue fell to
132.7 million pounds from 149.8 million pounds in 2015.
Once a symbol of London's surging property market and known
for its pioneering coffee shop-style outlets and fleet of Mini
cars, Foxtons floated in 2013 ahead of a market peak and has
since failed more than once to meet market expectations.
Shares in Foxtons were 1.8 percent lower at 0832 GMT after
the firm said earnings before interest, tax, deprecations and
amortisation (EBITDA) fell by 46.5 percent to 24.6 million
pounds last year, lower than the 25.8 million forecast by a
Thomson Reuters poll of analysts.
Central London property prices have fallen sharply in recent
months, according to a series of surveys, after a tax hike
introduced in April hit demand for top-end homes, compounded by
the uncertainty for particularly foreign investors of the Brexit
"Last year's London property market was severely impacted by
changes to stamp duty and the EU referendum vote leading to a
substantial reduction in property sales transactions in Central
London," Chief Executive Nic Budden said.
"Expect trading conditions to remain challenging throughout
2017. Should current sales activity continue through the
remainder of this year, it is likely that 2017 sales volumes
will be below last year," he said.
Britain's third-largest housebuilder Taylor Wimpey
also said in early January that lower selling prices in central
London had affected its performance, with the value of its
full-year order book falling marginally.
Revenue from lettings, a strong area for the firm that could
be hit by the introduction of a ban on lettings fees, fell 1
percent to 68.3 million pounds.
"It is too early to assess the impact of the government's
proposed ban on tenants' fees," Foxtons said in a statement.
($1 = 0.8193 pounds)
(Editing by David Clarke and Alexander Smith)