Countrywide reports flat annual income amid 'challenging' housing market

Countrywide reported Wednesday total income was flat for the full year compared with a year earlier as the estate agent grappled with a 'challenging' housing market and deficit in its sales pipeline at the beginning of last year.

Total Group income for the year was flat £627m from a year earlier, which the company hailed as a 'resilient performance' given the backdrop of both a challenging market and the previously reported 19% opening pipeline deficit in sales at the beginning of 2018.

The group's adjusted earnings (EBITDA) for the year nearly halved to £33m from £65m.

Income in the sales and lettings business for the full year fell to £329m from £361m a year earlier, with a 'strong performance in particular in lettings, which was flat year on year, offset by a 16% decline in sales, due to the lower pipeline of sales agreed as we ended 2017, and the challenging market,' the company said.

The company said it was 'encouraged' by the progress made in its turnaround plan and in the growth in the register and the pipeline in the UK.

The pipeline of agreed sales awaiting exchange of contracts in UK sales and lettings was up 5% having begun the year with a 21% opening pipeline deficit in UK sales, the company said.

But the group remained cautious about the market outlook for 2019 and continued to closely monitor market conditions for 'any potential impact arising from the wider political and economic environment.'

At 8:44am: (LON:CWD) Countrywide Plc share price was +0.1p at 9.89p