Thursday, 8 March 2018

UK's largest estate agent group shares dive as profits fall

Shares in Countrywide, the UK's largest estate agent group, lost 20% after it warned of tough times in the market.

Countrywide, whose brands include Bairstow Eves and Gascoigne Pees, made a £208.1m after-tax loss in 2017, versus a £17.5m profit in 2016. said about 150 head office jobs would go.

The firm has been hit by a slowdown in the housing market as well as the rise of online agents such as Purplebricks.

But by mid afternoon the shares had pulled back to stand at about 8% down.

The profit figures were also dragged lower by one-off costs as Countrywide continued to restructure the business.
But even with these are stripped out, pre-tax profits more than halved to £25.2m, from £52.7m in 2016.

Countrywide, which called 2017 "a disappointing year", said trading had remained under pressure since the start of 2018 with a pipeline of work "significantly" below a year earlier.

BBC       News.