November 13, 2018 / 7:16 AM / 6 months ago

Foxtons closes six branches in 'challenging' London market

A Foxtons estate agent sign is seen reflected in the window at a branch in north London September 3, 2013. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - Foxtons said it had closed six of its branches as the London-focussed estate agent posted flat third-quarter revenue of 35.1 million pounds ($45.22 million), reflecting a “challenging” property market in the capital.

The brand, known for its chain of coffee shop-style offices, has been hit by cooling demand for London real estate and competition from online competitors in recent years.

A slight increase in lettings revenue was counter-balanced by a small dip in earnings from sales and its mortgage broking business, as London property demand remains sluggish in many areas after increases in a stamp duty property tax.

“This was a solid quarter in a challenging market,” said CEO Nic Budden. “We are managing the business for the current market conditions and remain confident in our long-term prospects.”

The company said it had closed six branches as it focusses on improving efficiency and ensuring its costs reflect market conditions, leaving it with 61 offices which cover more than 85 percent of the city.

Earlier this year, it posted a pretax loss of 2.5 million pounds in the first six months of 2018.

($1 = 0.7763 pounds)

Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Kate Holton

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