McGrath Limited, presenting its outlook for the year ahead, said it was expecting the challenging market conditions experienced in FY16 to continue and that to maintain growth it would continue to focus on its core strategic objectives.
At its AGM last week the rookie-listed company said these objectives included attracting and retaining high performing agents, growing its office network and utilising technology to deliver efficiencies and enhance the productivity of both its existing and its new agents.
Of course McGrath has featured prominently in the press in recent weeks after rumours and media speculation gathered around an alleged plot involving several dissatisfied McGrath agents and executives setting up a rival network.
However the group, in an exclusive REB interview, moved swiftly to dismiss the claims.
But chair, Cass O’Connor, acknowledged at the AGM that the company’s first 12 publicly listed months have been difficult, defined she said “by some unprecedented conditions in its most important markets”.
Ms O’Connor said that listing volumes are at levels “not seen since the data set began”, and that historically-low interest rates and “other factors” have resulted in a demand/supply imbalance which has pushed up prices in a “self-fulfilling” cycle.
Against this backdrop, she added, in April her board took the decision to revise its financial guidance. In August McGrath reported a revised proforma first year after tax profit of $14.6m and a dividend of 3.5 cents per share.
Still, Ms O’Connor said there was some good news to report.
“[It] is that we managed to increase our market share in around two-thirds of the areas we serve,” she said in her address from the chair.
“In the context of the market conditions, it was an outcome that we believe speaks to the underlying strength of the brand, the quality of our agents and our potential leverage to any improvement in market conditions.”
James Mitchell has over eight years’ experience as a financial reporter and is the editor of Wealth and Wellness at Momentum Media.
He has a sound pedigree to cover the business of mortgages and the converging financial services sector having reported for leading finance titles InvestorDaily, InvestorWeekly, Accountants Daily, ifa, Mortgage Business, Residential Property Manager, Real Estate Business, SMSF Adviser, Smart Property Investment, and The Adviser.
He has also been published in The Daily Telegraph and contributed online to FST Media and Mergermarket, part of the Financial Times Group.
James holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and an MA in Journalism.
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