At a time when fewer houses are being brought to market and sold, it is astonishing when an estate agents manages to increase both their sales and profit.

Connells Group has just announced pre-tax profits of £73.4m for 2016. The result represents an increase of 17.4 per cent on the previous year and a robust performance across all areas of the Connells Group. The total includes an increase in the total number of properties sold, up 8 per cent; an increase in new homes sales, up 5 per cent; a 44 per cent increase in income from the Land division and New Homes income up 19 per cent. Their lettings arm also put in a strong performance with property management up 23 per cent. Mortgage Services income was also up 18 per cent and a 10 per cent increase in mortgages arranged resulted in £8.2bn of lending. Connells also recorded a 33 per cent rise in income from Connells Survey & Valuation and a number of major contract wins, plus conveyancing income increased by 8 per cent. The pre-tax profit includes a gain of £17m from the part disposal of shares in ZPG Plc.

David Livesey, Connells Group Chief Executive said: “All parts of the business delivered a strong performance and, considered alongside the disruption caused by Brexit and other market challenges, makes our results even more remarkable. Our financial strength and continuous improvements means we are well poised for another year where we look forward to building on our already impressive achievements.”

Connells Group also boosted its Group headcount, creating a further 500 jobs and developing its customer support teams. Connells Group now employs over 7,000 people.