Countrywide sees Q4 income fall

Countrywide sees Q4 income fall

Countrywide saw its income for the final quarter of 2016 drop as transactions fell below levels seen in previous years.

In a trading statement issued to the market this morning, Countrywide said its total group income for 2016 was £737m - slightly up from the previous year when it was £734m.

But its income for the last three months of 2016 was down to £179m from £196m in 2015.

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Countrywide said the underlying level of market transactions is running below 2015 and it expects full year volumes to drop 6 per cent on the previous year's levels.

Alison Platt, chief executive of Countrywide, said: "It is pleasing to report modest full year revenue growth against the backdrop of a challenging residential sales market.

"Our retail and London divisions were impacted by the lower market volumes which were partially offset by a strong performance from our lettings business. It is encouraging to note that both financial services and surveying reported profit growth notwithstanding the external environment.

"We continue to focus on delivering cost and productivity efficiencies across our business which will mitigate the impact of a 2017 sales market which is expected to show a reduction on 2016 volumes.

"The roll-out of our digital proposition remains on track and we continue to see performance in line with our expectations. As set out on 15 December 2016, we are currently underway with a strategic review of our Lambert Smith Hampton business and further announcements will be made as appropriate."

Last month Countrywide confirmed it was considering selling the Lambert Smith Hampton business, which is a commercial property consultancy firm it had bought in 2013.

In October Countrywide published data which showed that 2017 could be the first year since the 1930s when more homes are let than sold.

It came as data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors showed the number of homes for sale was close to historic lows but demand was growing.