Winkworth blames election for profit drop

 
Kasmira Jefford
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WINKWORTH shares dropped 6.5 per cent yesterday after the estate agent blamed the slowdown in activity ahead of the UK General Election for a sharp fall in profits.

The company said revenues rose by 3.2 per cent to £2.57m in the six months to 30 June. This was against a very positive sales record last year when the housing market was particularly strong.

However, pre-tax profits fell by a fifth to £663,149 compared with £803,785 in the same period the previous year.

Chief executive Dominic Agace said the election campaign along with the tax threats associated with it had “seriously distorted sales”, but boosted rentals during the traditionally strong spring season.

He insisted that trading has since picked up, boosted by two new offices opened in the period. “With early signs of wage inflation starting to come through, we feel that the UK property market is now on a sound footing for further progress going into 2016,” he said.