Countrywide earnings down 50% – Mortgage Strategy

Embattled estate agent Countrywide has revealed that earnings halved during 2018.

The group’s annual report details that adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation totalled £32.7m in 2018 compared to £65.6m in 2017.

The group also reports losses of £218m during 2018 compared to £207m the year previous.

Billing 2018 as ‘a year of reset’, Countrywide executive chairman Peter Long comments: “We encountered market weakness in Q4 due to the further uncertainties surrounding Brexit which is affecting both our sector and consumer confidence as a whole. These headwinds have continued into 2019.

“As a result, we are experiencing further slow-down in residential and commercial property transactions particularly in London and the South.” He goes on to predict that this will affect the first half of 2019’s EBITDA by £3m – £5m.”

The report also details a three-year recovery plan, in which it comments on a ‘back to basics’ approach to its sales and lettings business, an expansion of its B2B and financial services, and cost efficiency measures, among others.

The news comes just two days after HM Revenue & Customs fined Countrywide £215,000 for failures in its anti-money laundering checks.

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