Countrywide’s 132-page annual report, released today, has given details of the management and restructuring costs incurred by the company during its tumultuous 2016 and 2017 years.
Former chief executive Alison Platt received £676,000 in 2017, consisting of £575,000 salary, £15,000 in taxable benefits and £86,000 pension. A footnote in the report reveals that in her role as a non-executive director for Tesco, Platt retained a fee of £84,500.
The figures also reveal that Platt’s total remuneration from Countrywide the year before, in 2016, was also £676,000 but had been considerably higher in 2015 when it was £964,000. Platt was appointed to the chief executive’s post on September 1 2014.
It has previously been reported that Platt received a £675,000 pay-off after quitting her post on January 24 this year.
In the four years from 2014 to 2017 Platt was also granted shares awards, although these lapsed upon her resignation from the group.
The report also reveals that no bonuses were paid to executive directors in 2017 as a result of the company’s overall performance - earnings fell 23 per cent while profits in its sales and lettings division dropped 45 per cent, and group income fell to £671.9m for the year, down from £737m in 2016.
The report also throws a detailed spotlight on the costs of the changes introduced during the previous year - 2016 - as the ‘retail revolution’ was in full swing, described in the document as being “a significant branch restructuring, accelerating our transformation agenda and resizing the UK and London estate” which resulted in exceptional costs.
The document says these included:
“£8,109,000 in respect of associated redundancy costs to achieve the appropriate organisational structure;
“£15,813,000 of property provisions, comprising: £4,162,000 dilapidation costs; £7,430,000 onerous contract costs in respect of closed premises; £3,084,000 associated asset write downs arising from rationalisation of our branch footprint; and £1,137,000 of other property closure costs;
“£19,564,000 of impairment charges from writing down goodwill associated with conveyancing operations (£1,083,000), and £5,016,000 and £13,465,000 respectively in relation to the UK and London cash generating units following an assessment of the recoverable value against the carrying value of the goodwill;
“£1,358,000 of impairment charges from writing down four brands which have been abandoned as part of our review of the UK marketplace; and
“£2,032,000 in respect of costs expensed during the year as part of the organisational redesign of our marketing function and revisions to our channels to market aligned with the launch of our digital offering.”