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.