RNS Number : 6922O

LSL Property Services PLC

11 February 2021

For Immediate Release

11 February 2021

LSL Property Services plc ("LSL" or "Group")

LSL completes strategic Financial Services technology acquisitions and confirms senior management appointments

LSL announces the acquisition of a 60% stake in Direct Life Quote Holdings Limited for GBP1.8m, and the acquisition in full of the business and assets of Mortgage Gym Limited ("Mortgage Gym") for GBP2.4m, as part of its digital strategy to drive growth in Financial Services.

LSL is one of the largest providers of services to mortgage intermediaries and mortgage & protection advice to estate

agency customers, completing c.GBP32bn of mortgages in 2019. It currently represents approximately 9% of the total purchase and remortgage market, with around 2,600 financial advisers.

These acquisitions will strengthen LSL's digital capability and help to drive increased market share and profitability across its award-winning PRIMIS intermediary network, Embrace Financial Services, its specialist provider of mortgage and protection advice to estate agency customers, and its RSC and Group First subsidiaries, which focus on providing mortgage advice to buyers of new build homes, working in partnership with new home developers.

Direct Life Quote Holdings

Direct Life Quote Holdings principal subsidiary, Direct Life & Pension Services Limited ("DLPS"), has developed an advanced technology platform that offers digital protection insurance product recommendations to intermediaries and direct to retail customers via an end-to-end online service through third party aggregators. The investment in DLPS will help both PRIMIS members and LSL's directly employed advisers to increase their sale of protection products for the benefit of clients and customers. The agreement allows LSL to take a further share in the business at a later date.

Mortgage Gym

LSL has been a strategic investor in Mortgage Gym which has developed an innovative digital platform that confirms mortgage eligibility within 60 seconds, matching borrowers with lenders. Mortgage Gym will strengthen the technology support available to LSL and PRIMIS mortgage advisors, increasing the efficiency of users and help to pre-qualify leads, whilst increasing the capability to generate leads from third party sources. The technology is currently being piloted by LSL in the new build market and under LSL ownership it will be used to accelerate its deployment, enhancing the service proposition to developers, giving LSL the opportunity to grow market share in this sector. It will also bring significant benefits to Embrace Financial Services, increasing the efficiency and productivity of advisers working with LSL and third-party estate agency offices.

The consideration for the Mortgage Gym acquisition has been settled by offsetting against LSL's position as a secured creditor of Mortgage Gym by way of purchase from the administrators. Mortgage Gym reported losses before tax of GBP3.9m for the year ended 31 December 2019, at which date it had gross assets of GBP1.5m. The reported losses in 2020 are expected to be considerably lower and we expect the Mortgage Gym technology to contribute positively to Group profitability once it is fully deployed.

Management Update

LSL has appointed Steve Goodall as Managing Director of e.surv, one of the UK's largest provider of surveying & valuation services and Andy Deeks as Group Chief Strategy Officer. Steve Goodall was most recently Chief Executive of AIM-listed ULS Technology plc, a leading provider of digital home moving and legal services platforms and, prior to this, he was Managing Director of Legal & General Surveying Services for 13 years. Andy Deeks was most recently an Executive Director at Coventry Building Society with responsibility for Product, Marketing, Digital and Strategy.

David Stewart, Group Chief Executive Officer of LSL, said:

"These important acquisitions will help LSL drive further growth in Financial Services, which is at the heart of our strategy. They provide us with market-leading digital capability, and I am delighted that we have been able to complete these deals.

I'm also delighted to welcome Steve Goodall and Andy Deeks to LSL. Steve is highly respected across the surveying and valuation markets and his deep understanding of the sector will prove invaluable to our plans to grow e.surv. Andy has already made a significant contribution as we develop ambitious targets for the Group and I've no doubt that he will play an important part in taking the Group forward as we implement our plans in the coming months and years."

In our Full Year Trading Update, released on 15 January 2021, we were pleased to announce very strong trading in December 2020 with full year 2020 Group Underlying Operating Profit expected to be significantly ahead of 2019. We will provide further details with the release of our Preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2020."

Notes on LSL

LSL is one of the largest providers of services to mortgage intermediaries and mortgage & protection advice to estate agency customers, completing GBP31.7bn of mortgages in 2019. It represents approximately 9% of the total purchase and remortgage market with around 2,600 financial advisers. It was named Mortgage Network of the Year by both Moneyfacts and Mortgage Introducer in their 2020 awards, as well as Best Network 300+ ARs by Mortgage Strategy.

e.surv is one of the UK's largest provider of surveying and valuation services, supplying seven out of the ten largest lenders in the UK, employing over 500 operational surveyors, and performing over 500,000 valuation and surveys per annum for key lender clients. It was named Best Surveyor/Valuer at the 2020 Mortgage Strategy awards.

LSL operates a network of 226 owned and 130 franchised estate agency branches.

For further information, please visit LSL's website: lslps.co.uk

For further information, please contact:

 David Stewart, Group Chief 
  Executive Officer 
 Adam Castleton, Group Chief 
  Financial Officer 
 LSL Property Services plc     investorrelations@lslps.co.uk 
 Helen Tarbet 
 Sophie Wills 
 Buchanan                      0207 466 5000 / LSL@buchanan.uk.com 

Forward Looking Statement

This announcement contains certain statements that are forward-looking statements. They appear in a number of places throughout this announcement and include statements regarding LSL's intentions, beliefs or current expectations and those of its officers, directors and employees concerning, amongst other things, LSL's results of operations, financial condition, liquidity, prospects, growth, strategies and the business it operates. By their nature, these statements involve uncertainty since future events and circumstances can cause results and developments to differ materially from those anticipated. The forward-looking statements reflect knowledge and information available at the date of preparation of this update and, unless otherwise required by applicable law, LSL undertakes no obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements. Nothing in this update should be construed as a profit forecast. LSL and its Directors accept no liability to third parties in respect of this update save as would arise under English law.

Any forward-looking statements in this announcement speak only at the date of this announcement and LSL undertakes no obligation to update publicly or review any forward-looking statement to reflect new information or events, circumstances or developments after the date of this update.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 11, 2021 02:00 ET (07:00 GMT)

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