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Countrywide in turmoil as Platt’s departure  is possible 'within days'

Countrywide appears to be in turmoil with Sky News reports that board members are discussing trying to get rid of controversial chief executive Alison Platt.

Britain’s largest estate agency group has had a torrid three and a half years since Platt was appointed to the top job in autumn 2014.

Its share price closed at a record low of 103p yesterday. 


“Sky News has learnt that board members have been discussing the future of Alison Platt in the aftermath of news last week that the owner of Hamptons and Bridgefords would make only £65m in the financial year just ended” the news service reported last evening.

“City sources suggested on Monday night that an announcement about her departure was possible in the next few days, although they cautioned that it had not yet been finalised” the report continues.

Sky News quoted a confidential document - reported by Estate Agent Today here - which was sent to staff last Thursday; that was the same day as the latest poor set of figures from the agency group.

In it Platt said: “The end result therefore is not what we had planned and rightly I expect the reaction from our shareholders and the wider market to be challenging.” 

You can see the Sky News story here.

In its trading statement late last week the firm said its total income in the sales and lettings business for the full 2017 year was expected to be circa £360m, down 14 per cent on 2016, “reflecting a disappointing fourth quarter performance.”

Total Countrywide group income for the full year - including non-agency activity such as financial services - was expected to be circa £672m (2016: £737m), with quarter four income of circa £164m (2016: £179m). 

Income in the UK business was expected to be circa £205m, down 17 per cent year on year, and in London was expected to be circa £155m, down 10 per cent.  

  • icon

    I think there is considerably less turmoil at the prospect of Mrs Platt going than abounds from her daily degradation of the organisation.

  • richard pascoe

    Historically - I have had lots dealings with Countrywide. The appointment of a non-agency person to run the Company was complete madness. By all means bring in outside people for supporting senior roles but you need the real estate agents who completely understand the business to ensure success. The likes of Anthony Ekins, Dai Jones. Vernon Harris & Bob Scarff - all of whom I have known back in the nineties. It is no coincidence that Bairstow Eves were outstandingly successful in those days with Dai & Vernon at the helm. When I first heard about the appointment of Alison Platt - I feared for the business going forward - nothing has changed that opinion. Richard S Pascoe FNAEA

  • icon

    She is a supermarket 'baked beans' seller with no idea of estate/lettings agency. Should never have been appointed and should have been gone long ago.

  • icon

    How she lasted this long is a complete surprise to me. I’ve been in agency for 21 years, I know more about estate agency in my little toe than she knows in her whole body. The fact that she was employing people from Carphone Warehouse to help her was a mistake. They badly need to employe people who know about estate agency. I’m still convinced she is employed by Sequence to take down Countrywide.

    Owen Nato

    Your last sentence is comedy!!

  • Anthony Alex

    Under her stewardship the company has completely failed to grasp quite how much estate agency has changed, how consumer profiles and demands have changed and how the web continues to change the industry. A significant downturn in the market will test agencies to the hilt and only a balanced approach to the business will succeed.

  • James Robinson

    So more interestingly, I would like to open a book on the size of her golden goodbye.
    Do I have any takers?


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