Century 21 China franchisor posts loss on ‘tough’ Q2

'Five Measures' imposed by officials in March have cooled housing markets

IFM Investments Ltd. — the exclusive franchisor of the Century 21 brand in China — posted a second-quarter loss of $5.4 million as revenue slid by 18 percent from the first quarter, to $34.6 million.

New capital gains tax regulations “severely impacted secondary transaction volumes in Beijing, resulting in lower-than-anticipated revenue,” IFM Chairman and CEO Donald Zhang said in a statement.

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On an earnings call with investors, Zhang called it a “tough” quarter.

The new capital gains tax regulations were one of “Five New Measures” implemented by Chinese officials in March to cool down the country’s overheated housing markets. The measures, which targeted particular markets, also included higher down payment ratios, ceilings on new home prices, and limits on investor purchases.

For the third quarter, IFM is projecting revenue will grow by about 5 percent, to between $36 million and $37 million.

“With diverse revenue streams and a flexible network, we are confident that Century 21 China Real Estate is well positioned to benefit as the secondary market normalizes,” IFM Vice President and Chairman Harry Lu said in a statement.

IFM said the Century 21 China Real Estate network averaged more than 944 sales offices in 27 major cities during the second quarter, with an average of 322 company-owned sales offices in operation. The network employed more than 13,600 sales professionals at company-owned and affiliated brokerages as of June 30.

Revenue from company-owned brokerage services, which accounted for nearly 74 percent of total net revenue, was down 27 percent from the first quarter and 10 percent from a year ago.

Revenue from the provision of franchise services to affiliated brokerages totaled just $500,000 — about 1.3 percent IFM’s total for the quarter — but was up 12 percent from the first quarter and nearly 87 percent from a year ago.

At $7.1 million, revenue from primary and commercial services was up 29.6 percent from the first quarter and 129 percent from a year ago, and accounted for nearly 21 percent of second-quarter net revenue.

Revenue from mortgage management services was up 16.3 percent from the first quarter and 50 percent from a year ago, to $1.5 million, thanks largely to an increase in home equity loans brokered.


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