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Countrywide says Brexit uncertainty to wipe £5m off earnings

Countrywide says Brexit uncertainty to wipe £5m off earnings

Countrywide income was down nearly 3 per cent in the first three months of the year, according to its latest trading update.

The property service group today (April 30) reported an income of £140.3m in the first quarter of 2019, down from £144.6m for the same period last year.

Countrywide, which claims to be the UK's largest mortgage broker, said the ongoing uncertainties around Brexit and the knock-on effect on consumer confidence had hurt the residential and commercial property market, particularly in London and the south.

The group had previously predicted that for the first half of 2019 it expected its earnings would be down by between £3m and £5m but in today's results the company forecast that this was likely to be £5m.

In the last three months of 2018, Countrywide posted a 49 per cent drop in pre-tax earnings due to continued hardship in the housing market.

The group said it expected to have a stronger second half of 2019 as it put a series of self-help measures in place to lower costs to meet the lower level of market activity.

As a result, for the full year, the group expects adjusted earnings to be broadly in line with the board's expectations and said it remained well positioned to benefit from any upturn in the market following investments made in 2018.

imogen.tew@ft.com