John McGrath says the listed real estate agency is his family

John McGrath says the listed real estate agency is his family
John McGrath says the listed real estate agency is his family

John McGrath, chief executive of McGrath Limited told The Weekend Australian that the recent stockmarket savaging caught the veteran real estate agent off guard.

“We were surprised and disappointed,” McGrath told The Weekend Australian in his first interview since an earnings forecast downgrade on Monday.

McGrath again increased their holdings, last week spending $500,000 to top up his stake to near 30 per cent.

McGrath says while listings are down across the industry and in most of the areas it operates in, the agency has increased its share from 3.2 percent to 3.5 percent of the market.

Meanwhile he has his team who bought into the float.

“This is my family, it’s not just an investment or a company I work for,” McGrath says.

“It’s something I started in my loungeroom.

“I can see the medium term long term, I know where we are gong to end up, but in the short term there is no doubt there is a feeling a pain for me as CEO, largest shareholder and founder of the business that we are having to go through this.”

But, he adds: “This is a long-term game.”

“Even post the market downgrade we will be delivering $26m-$27m in earnings.

"We have cash in the bank and we have no debt.

"We think we are in as good a position as ever,” he says, arguing he and the board — which includes chairman David Mackay, a former Kellogg CEO, and tech entrepreneur Daniel Petre — maintain their belief that a public listing was the right path for the company.

But Wendy McCarthy, a founding chair of McGrath Operations who left in June as she was never a float proponent, told Fairfax Media she imagined "he must be finding it very challenging and very disappointing."

"You've got people telling you everything is going to be fabulous and the float is oversubscribed and you believe it," said McCarthy, who praised McGrath's imagination and generosity.

Residential Market Real Estate Agents


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