Countrywide chief to face questions  ahead of latest results

Countrywide's second most senior management figure - Head of Retail Sam Tyrer - is to speak before an industry audience next week, ahead of the release of trading figures for the third quarter of the year.

In a debate next Tuesday about the future of estate agency organised by City investment consultancy Jefferies, Tyrer will speak in the 'bricks' corner on behalf or traditional estate agents, despite Countrywide itself pursuing a range of business models now, including an online service for customers who want it.

Other speakers at the debate will be Russell Quirk, chief executive of eMoov, and James Davies, founder of UPad in the 'clicks' corner representing online agencies.

Mark Goddard, head of property services at Zoopla Property Group and formerly the head of the now-Zoopla-owned Property Services Group, is in what the organisers call the 'picks' corner - what Jefferies calls the 'land grab' part of the market, dominated by the two major portals.

Representatives from Winkworth, SellMyHome, WhenYouMove and eHouse will also be present in the audience.

The debate, which will take a BBC Question Time-style format, is open to recipients of Jefferies' investment newsletters who register in advance; the official subject of the meeting is digital disruption in the agency and sales transaction industry, but it is unlikely that Countrywide's spectacular share decline will not be discussed by the City audience. 

Jefferies points out that since the EU Referendum Countrywide's share price has fallen by 47 per cent; Foxtons and LSL Property Services have dropped 38 and 33 per cent respectively while the one online agency that is publicly quoted, Purplebricks, has fallen by a more modest eight per cent.

Last week Jefferies downgraded Countrywide's investment status from 'buy' to 'hold'.


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