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Countrywide grows mortgage business as profits slump 59%

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  • 09/03/2017
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Countrywide grows mortgage business as profits slump 59%
Pre-tax profits at Countrywide fell 59% to £19.5m in 2016 as the estate agent sector continues its run of poor financial results.

Income for the year remained relatively flat at £737m (£733.7m in 2015), however, restructuring and exceptional charges through difficult market conditions cost the business an extra £33.1m compared to last year.

This included costs of restructuring the business of £27.7m and goodwill impairment charges of £19.6m.

However, mortgage-related results were encouraging and the organisation intends to focus on these in the coming year.

Countrywide arranged 90,262 mortgages in 2016 (up 19% on 2015), for a value of £15.7bn (up 29%) and completed 364,957 valuations and surveys (up 2%).

It also almost doubled remortgage levels, from 13% in 2015 to 25% in 2016.

Difficult market

Overall, the estate agent expects 2017 to be another difficult year: it expects the volatile sales market to continue and regulations limiting tenants’ fees to reduce income.

Chief executive Alison Platt said the business was evolving quickly.

“Looking forward we expect difficult market conditions for the foreseeable future ensuring that the emphasis for 2017 will remain on our strong plans for change,” she said.

“Over the medium term our diverse revenues, nationwide footprint and portfolio of high quality brands gives us confidence that Countrywide can build on its leadership position and deliver sustainable, profitable growth,” she added.

Earlier this week, Foxtons announced that its profits had crashed 54% as sales slumped during an ‘unprecedented’ year.

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