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Countrywide warns of 'difficult sales market'

Countrywide, the agency group that handles one in 10 transactions in Britain, has told the City that its income remains “resilient in difficult market conditions”. 

In a trading statement the group reports continued progress in its lettings and commercial divisions, delivering income growth in the first quarter of this year of 7.0 per cent and 15.0 per cent respectively. 

It says the surveying division outperformed the market following recent contract wins with income up 9.0 per cent in the first three months of the year. Meanwhile its financial services division achieved a record market share in the same period. 

However, it says its estate agency and higher end residential volumes were affected by “tougher market conditions.” 

Chief executive Alison Platt says: "Notwithstanding the interim market challenges, we continue to invest in our broad based business, diversifying revenue streams into more property activities that are independent of the housing transaction cycle to deliver sustainable growth in coming years. 

“The momentum in our lettings and commercial divisions, the anticipated future recovery in market transactions together with the results from our 'Building our Future' programme put us in a position to create significant value for shareholders in coming years." 

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