Countrywide: share price plunges again as some bonuses scrapped

Alison Platt may have been ousted but Countrywide appears not to be out of the woods yet as its share price yesterday fell to yet another record low and rumours circulated about the scrapping of bonuses for some staff.

Countrywide’s share price had a torrid day yesterday, closing down 10 points and over 10 per cent on its opening figure, to end at 84.9p.

The price was edging down all day but had a particularly sharp decline late in the afternoon.

All this was after yet another poor stock market showing the previous day, Tuesday, when it briefly went as low as 92p: until yesterday, that figure had been its lowest.

The long-term decline of Countrywide’s share price has been well-chronicled. In March 2014 it hit a record high of 684.5p; then it went through a series of sporadic falls culminating in last week’s Countrywide disappointing trading statement and profits warning,.

When the company’s executive told senior staff of the departure of Alison Platt as chief executive on January 23, the price had hit precisely 100p for the first time. 

Just over a week later it is now considerably lower; the company is currently valued at little over £200m.

Meanwhile Estate Agent Today has been attempting to confirm speculation that Countrywide has now scrapped bonuses for some staff.

EAT received an anonymous claim, appearing to come from a disgruntled Countrywide staff member, that the troubled agency group’s chief financial officer Himanshu Raja announced internally that no members of staff would receive a bonus for their 2017 work.

This announcement, if true, came after the organisation agreed to pay former chief executive Alison Platt a ‘golden goodbye’ of a reported £675,000. Following Platt's departure there was a substantial reallocation of responsibilities amongst the existing senior management.

Countrywide has this morning said it has no comment to make on the bonus speculation.

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    Tis true no bonus

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    • Mr P
    • 01 February 2018 09:55 AM

    Their recent trading statement states EBITDA for 2017 is expected to be around £65m (2016: £83.5m). If you can pay Platt £675k to leave and still make £65m you can pay your staff bonuses! Yet another example showing how badly this business is run!

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    Typical corporate mentality

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    It’s a total disgrace. To award Mrs Platt the sum they have and then to penalise the downtrodden staff is inexcusable. Mrs P could have waived her severance pay and Mr Chairman could have declined his doubling of pay. If the mantra ‘we’re all in this together’ could be used; it certainly can’t now!


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