LSL, which owns First Complete and Pink Home Loans, now has a mortgage market share of 6.6%.
Underlying profit at the group also grew to a record level of £42.9m, an increase of 2% and higher than figures achieved during the peak of the property market in 2007. Meanwhile, group revenue grew by 4.6% to £300.6m, while profit before tax was up from £31.9m in 2014 to £38.6m.
Total mortgage approvals at LSL increased by 8.4% last year to total 1.3m after demand increased in the second half of the year for both house purchases and remortgages.
LSL’s strong results come shortly after the firm acquired a 65% interest in Colchester-based advice firm Group First. The firm said the purchase “further strengthens LSL’s relationships with its key housebuilder clients”.
Despite slow growth in the first half of 2015, the group’s estate agency division pulled rank in the last six months of the year to deliver full year growth of 12% in its lettings business, rising to £65.4m. Residential sales income at LSL also grew slightly to £92.9m, up from £92.1m in 2014.
Simon Embley, chairman (pictured), said: “After a slower first half in the estate agency division, reflecting the overall market, we remained committed to our strategy and delivered a strong second half. The Surveying Division delivered a strong performance with 3% revenue growth and double digit profit growth.
“The Group has a robust balance sheet with relatively low levels of gearing and is very cash generative at an operational level. The business is well positioned to capitalise on the changing market conditions to increase shareholder value.”