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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

City updates: Countrywide profits slump as Zoopla agents and visits soar

Countrywide has given what it admits is a “mixed performance” in 2015 with a major reduction in operating profits, although it insists momentum is building for a more successful year ahead.

In its annual report to the City, Countrywide says its income for 2015 was up four per cent but its operating profit was down a thumping 37 per cent after what it calls a “decline in estate agency and lettings profitability.”

A statement from Alison Platt, company chief executive, admits the group has been through “a challenging year” thanks to a tougher sales market and what she calls Countrywide’s “change agenda”.

But she insists “the importance of the breadth of our portfolio through such a diversified business as ours was underlined by the market-beating performance delivered in financial services, commercial and surveying. I am confident that the pace that we delivered our change agenda ensures we enter 2016 in a stronger position to regain market share and build the business further.” 

Meanwhile Zoopla Property Group has also reported to the City on its performance from October 1 to January 30. 

ZPG attracted over 47m average monthly visits to its websites and mobile apps between October and the end of January and it is claiming a record audience of over 58m visits in January. 

The number of agents has grown by a net 261 - many of them returning from OnTheMarket - giving an all-agent total of 16,672. January was its ninth consecutive month of growth in the number of UK agency partners to 12,841 at the end of the period.

Alex Chesterman, founder and chief executive of ZPG, describes the start to the year as “solid” for his business. 

“In Property Services we have now seen nine consecutive months of partner growth and experienced record levels of traffic in January. Comparison Services has performed particularly well as we continue to help consumers save money off their household bills” he says. 

“Our recently announced investments and strategic partnerships with some of the most-promising players in the PropTech space reaffirm our commitment to leading innovation and will serve to further strengthen our proposition.”

  • Kelly Evans

    Oh dear. Not looking so rosy for Countrywide.

    I think they're spreading themselves too thin and trying to do too much. They are in danger of becoming too ubiquitous. On the other hand, their ambition should be commended and their PR team do a fine job of getting their name out their on a regular basis. They must be fast becoming the industry's best known-name, with Foxtons taking a bit of a backseat and not being quite so aggressive in their approach in recent months.

    Kelly Evans

    *there on a regular basis even. Too many theirs in that sentence!

     
    Terence Dicks

    They are well known only within our industry though. I think that if AP continues the retail heading, they may become well known to the Stock Market, and not in a good way.

     
  • Rob  Davies

    Interesting point about Foxtons, Kelly. They do seem to have gone off the radar recently. They've reined in their more aggressive and obnoxious ways in the last few months. They're either taking a backseat because they're not doing so well and they've not got as much to shout about, or they've cottoned on to the fact that annoying residents, the public and the media with their attempts to take over the whole of London isn't exactly the world's best business model.

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