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Foxtons figures to reflect growth in economy

RESULTS from estate agent Foxtons and paving specialist Marshalls over the coming week should show how they have benefited from the economic recovery and thriving housing market.

Estate agent Foxtons is expected to reflect the buoyant housing market when it posts half-year figures on Wednesday.

Analysts at Canaccord Genuity predict the London-focused chain will report first-half adjusted earnings up by a quarter at £24.4 million on sales lifted 17 per cent to £73.2m from a year ago.

Foxtons, which has 49 branches in the capital, has benefited from the resurgent housing market compounded by demand from cash-rich foreign buyers in the city.

In April, the group reported first quarter sales up 19.2 per cent to £34.1m, and adjusted earnings 44 per cent ahead to £10.9m.

The rise was driven by commission fees which jumped 41.1 per cent to £17.6m, although revenue from lettings was broadly flat at £15m as a resurgent house sales market dampened down demand for rented property.

Foxtons, known for its distinctive fleet of Mini Coopers, plans to open 5-10 new branches a year between 2014 and 2018.

This year it has opened branches in Greenwich, Beckenham, Earls Court, Stoke Newington and Harrow - and has scheduled two further openings in the autumn. The group typically sells properties for between £200,000 and £1.4m in upmarket parts of the capital.

But it has often made clear that its longer-term success will be largely determined by the availability of suitable houses for sale or rent.

The growing economy is also expected to boost profits at landscaping and paving specialist Marshalls when it posts half-year results on Thursday.

The Yorkshire-based firm revealed last month that revenues rose 15 per cent to £180m for the six months to June 30, as sales lifted across a range of its markets.

The company, which landscapes public areas and takes on private commissions, said its public sector and commercial work grew 19 per cent during the period. This area of work represents 62 per cent of group sales.

It added that its domestic residential market, which accounts for 32 per cent of revenues, lifted 4 per cent in the period compared with a year ago.

Marshalls said its international division, launched in 2011, grew 44 per cent over the period, although it only accounts for 6 per cent of group sales. The firm said it was seeing strong orders and sales growth. It added that its outlook was positive in all of its major markets

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