MARKET REPORT: Old hand pledges to get Foxtons back on track

Foxtons’s boss marked his return to the estate agent in style as he declared it was on course to beat its targets for the year. 

Guy Gittins, who joined the group in a junior position in 2002 before leaving in 2006, became chief executive last month following spells at rival brands Chestertons and Savills (down 0.4 per cent, or 3.5p, to 836p). 

With a booming rental market in London offsetting a slowdown among buyers as the cost of mortgages soar, he vowed to get Foxtons ‘back on the front foot’ despite an uncertain backdrop amid economic and political challenges. 

Pledge: With a booming rental market in London offsetting a slowdown among buyers as the cost of mortgages soar, Guy Gittins vowed to get Foxtons ‘back on the front foot’

‘Foxtons is part of the fabric of London life and I am absolutely delighted to be back, heading up the best estate agency in London and filled with the same excitement, anticipation and enthusiasm that I had almost 20 years ago,’ Gittins said. 

Revenue rose 25 per cent to £43.8m in the three months to September. 

Foxtons said it expects revenues for the full year to be ‘ahead of our previous expectations’. Shares rose 6.6 per cent, or 1.9p, to 30.75p. The FTSE 100 edged up 0.25 per cent, or 17.62 points, to 7073.69 but the FTSE 250 slid 0.13 per cent, or 23.97 points, to 18,081.92. 

Mining stocks were under the cosh, with Anglo American down 2 per cent, or 56.5p, to 2716p following a mixed update on production for the year. The group warned nickel, iron ore and coal would be at the lower end of forecasts, although production of diamond, copper and platinum group metals remained on track. 

Anglo American’s outlook came after production was broadly flat in the three months to September, with increases in diamond and coal offsetting slumps else where. With the sector weighed down by a fall in commodity prices, Rio Tinto sank 3.7 per cent, or 179p, to 4664p, Glencore fell 2.9 per cent, or 14.9p, to 501p, Antofagasta dropped 0.7 per cent, or 9p, to 1218.5p and Ferrexpo was down 2.5 per cent, or 2.8p, to 107.3p. 

HSBC gained 1.4 per cent, or 6.2p, to 450.15p after Deutsche Bank hiked its target price for the banking group to 650p from 570p. 

Engineer Renishaw sank 3.3 per cent, or 124p, to 3590p following a slump in orders from the semiconductor and electronics sectors. 

Over at Indivior, shares dropped 1.2 per cent, or 19p, to 1588p despite the pharma firm raising its guidance on revenue for the year, while profit is expected to be ‘modestly higher’ than 2021. 

There was also good news for car dealership business Inchcape, which added 1.9 per cent, or 13.5 per cent, to 739p after it said its profit for the year is forecast to exceed a previous guidance of between £350m and £370m. 

Hotel chain Park Plaza’s parent company PPHE Hotel Group rose 2.1 per cent, or 25p, to 1240p as it celebrated strong demand during the London and Croatian summer season. Revenues at the group surged 71.1 per cent to £129.6m in the three months to September. 

Meanwhile, DeepVerge, which earlier this month said it was struggling to repay a major loan, raised £10m in a bid to shore up its balance sheet. Shares in the technology company plunged 10 per cent, or 0.25p, to 2.25p. 

Demand in the global oil and gas industry helped energy services firm Hunting deliver higher sales and profits while it also offered an upbeat outlook for this year and 2023. Shares soared 5.3 per cent, or 12.5p, to 250.5p. 

Drinks company C&C Group fell 3 per cent, or 5p, to 160.5p as it warned the rising cost of living and squeeze on consumer spending would continue to take a toll on the business for the rest of the year. 

But the maker of Bulmers and Magners said it was focused on preparing for a Christmas period without Covid restrictions and next month’s World Cup in Qatar.