LSL increases purchase and remortage market share to record level

LSL’s share of the purchase and remortgage market increased to a record 10.4%, up from 9.6% in 2021, according to its Preliminary Results for the year ended 31st December.

The results show that the firm’s surveying and valuation business performed strongly, delivering resilient margins and profits.

The group’s underlying operating profit was £36.9m, impacted by the smaller purchase market and the adverse effect of the mini-Budget on the surveying and valuation business in Q4 2022.

LSL’s group operating loss was £56.7m after the board reduced the carrying value of goodwill by £87.2m, reflecting the impact of more conservative mid-term housing market assumptions, higher discount rates, and the disposal of non-core businesses.

LSL’s group remains highly cash-generative, generating £35.2m from operations in FY22. The group maintained its full-year dividend at 11.4p and has a strong balance sheet with net cash of £40.1m at 31st December 2022, down from £48.5m in 2021.

LSL’s outlook for 2023 is positive, with expected market improvements in H2 and thereafter.

The strong remortgage market, recent reductions in mortgage rates, and increasing momentum in the financial services network and estate agency businesses support this outlook.

However, valuations in more specialist areas, such as equity release and buy-to-let, have not recovered as quickly, with these segments still trending significantly below 2022.

LSL plans to manage costs pro-actively as market conditions evolve while continuing planned investments for the longer term. The group remains confident in its ability to benefit as market conditions improve.

David Stewart, group CEO, said: “I am pleased to report that LSL is in good shape. In 2022, the Group traded well in challenging market conditions, whilst making substantial progress in the execution of our strategy to grow and to become a B2B financial services provider.

“As a result, we remain well-placed to deliver on our strategy and capitalise on the significant opportunities we see available.”