Foxtons Group [LSE: FOXT]
London-centric estate agents Foxtons issued their full year results this morning and despite most other corners of the property market, the company continues to struggle. It’s focus on the highest end of the sector in the capital – both in terms of rental and for-sale properties – has proved problematic as falling prices take their toll. Despite the company’s attempts to save money via cost control, changes in tax legislation and falling demand from overseas investors are still dominating. Profits have fallen by two thirds and the full year dividend has been trimmed in line with this.
ITV [LSE: ITV]
Full year numbers from broadcaster ITV today again cast light on the difficult consumer market the UK currently presents. Advertising revenues fell by £57 million year-on-year, but this was more than compensated for through increased studio rental fees which now account for 40% of income. The success of this diversification strategy should be welcomed by investors along with the note that forward sales for the year ahead are more impressive than a year ago, but earnings per share are drifting lower.
Whitbread [LSE: WTB]
Premier Inn owner Whitbread has this morning announced new expansion plans in Europe, with the acquisition of 19 hotels in Germany. This takes the company’s network pipeline for the country to 31 properties containing almost 6,000 rooms by 2020. The German hotel market is said to mirror the situation in the UK a decade ago, where independent operators dominated but this is now pivoting towards chain brands.