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Annual Results

Countrywide profits fall in challenging year

09 March 2017 07:36

Countrywide posts operating profits of £28.9m for the year to the end of December - down from £53.8m in 2015 - and announced a non pre-emptive placing of up to 21,610,467 new ordinary shares, approximately 9.99% of the existing share capital.

The group said political uncertainty and stamp duty changes had a significant impact on the UK property market, making it a challenging year for Countrywide and the group expects sales market volatility to continue this year.

Total income in 2016 rose to £737.0m from £733.7m but adjusted EBITDA fell to £83.5m from £113.0m and pre-tax pforits of £19.5m were down from £47.7m.

Chairman Peter Long said: "In 2016, political uncertainty and stamp duty changes had a significant impact on the UK property market, making it a challenging year for Countrywide.

"We faced into these challenges - making difficult decisions quickly and acting decisively, streamlining the cost base and transforming our customer offer. In addition we have, today, announced plans to reinforce our balance sheet giving us a strong platform, going into 2017, to accelerate our transformation agenda."

The group's background and reasons for the placing said: "Countrywide paused all M&A activity after the first quarter of 2016 and initiated significant cost cutting, with estimated run rate reductions of £10 million already embedded and a further £9 million expected in 2017."

It continued: "The Company has also rebased its dividend policy going forwards to 30-35 per cent of earnings and will not be paying a final dividend for 2016."

It said the proceeds would be used to provide additional financial flexibility.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: CWD

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