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Countrywide PLC (CWD)

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Tuesday 06 May, 2014

Countrywide PLC

Interim Management Statement

RNS Number : 2348G
Countrywide PLC
06 May 2014

Tuesday, 6 May 2014


Countrywide plc Interim Management Statement


Countrywide plc (LSE:CWD), the UK's largest integrated property services group, issues this Interim Management Statement (IMS) for the period up to 5 May 2014 incorporating the three month period to

31 March 2014.


Financial highlights

·      The strong momentum evident in the later stages of 2013 continued into Q1 2014 with very strong growth in revenues and profits achieved across all parts of the Group.



v. 2013


Q1 total income



(+21% excluding Lambert Smith Hampton)

·      As the recovery in the residential property market continues we are seeing, as expected, the full benefit of our national coverage and the breadth of our business network.

·      The national coverage of our lettings business continues to be a significant factor in our overall performance with Q1 2014 revenue and EBITDA increasing by 20% and 50% respectively compared to the same period last year.

·      The encouraging results in Q1 2014, the pipelines across the Group going into Q2 and the positive outlook for the residential property market puts the Group in an excellent position to deliver a financial performance for the year towards the top end of our expectations.


Business highlights

·      Underlying volumes within our core divisions continue to reflect encouraging growth across the Group:





v. Q1



House exchanges (Estate Agency)




House exchanges (London & Premier)




Residential lettings properties under management




Number of mortgages arranged (Financial Services)




·      Our recognition for award winning service continues with Countrywide Surveying Services winning 'Best Surveyor/Valuer - Panel Manager' at the Mortgage Strategy Awards 2014.

·      In addition, the Group launched its 'Quarterly Market Review' utilising its access to and analysis of data to develop products and services to meet our clients' needs and provides a basis for expert commentary on the market.


Further expansion / progress

As previously highlighted, the Group continues to invest in high quality, value adding acquisition opportunities.  To date in 2014, we have completed the following acquisitions:

·      Tucker Gardner, a leading sales and lettings business in Cambridge and surrounding areas

·      Preston Bennett, a dominant agent in land and new homes in North London

·      9 lettings acquisitions for a total consideration of circa £13 million

·      We have also opened 5 new branches across our estate agency and lettings network


In addition, we continue to see good progress with Lambert Smith Hampton where we have been investing in our people to deliver identified revenue opportunities and are also exploring opportunities (both revenue and costs) with other divisions from across the Group.


We also continue to make progress with the Residential Property Investment Vehicle (RPIV)  as productive discussions are ongoing with a number of potential partners.  We anticipate providing a more detailed update on the RPIV with the announcement of our 2014 H1 results.


Market overview

As expected, 2013 saw the first meaningful increase in market transactions since 2007 with volumes up 18%, although this has to be put in perspective - 2013 volumes were 62% of the level recorded in 2006.


Data available so far in 2014 reflects a continuation of the trends evident in 2013 with Bank of England mortgage approvals for Q1 showing volumes up 33% on the same period in 2013 and Land Registry volumes for January up 43%.



External market data remains reasonably robust notwithstanding a few challenges, for example the changes due to the Mortgage Market Review.  The implementation of these new rules in April 2014 and changes to lenders systems and processes will be disruptive to the market in the short term and will impact on market growth.  It is always difficult to predict the exact size of the residential property market during the year but, based on current outlook, we would expect to see volume  growth in 2014 in a range of 10 to 15% compared to 2013.  This will help underpin our current plan and we expect to deliver a profit result towards the top end of our expectations.


Grenville Turner, Chief Executive at Countrywide, commented

"2013 was a momentous year for the business with a return to the public market and the benefits of the long awaited recovery in the residential property market becoming evident in the latter half of the year.  2014 has begun strongly and as a result of our national coverage, we expect to deliver very significant growth in 2014.  Our underlying level of cash generation remains positive and enables us to continue to invest in accretive bolt-on acquisitions while also putting us in a position to deliver significant cash returns to our shareholders in due course."








Caroline Somers, Head of Communications

+44(0)7515 919588

Jim Clarke, Group Chief Financial Officer

+44(0)7970 477299



1.            About Countrywide plc

Countrywide plc, the UK's largest integrated property services Group, including the largest estate agency and lettings network, operates more than 1,300 associated branches across  the UK.


Countrywide plc's network of expertise helps more people move than any other business in the UK and is a leading provider of estate agency, lettings, mortgage services, land and new homes, auctions, surveying, conveyancing and corporate property management services.


Countrywide plc's award-winning service has earned the business 152 high-profile industry awards in the last five years, with customers voting Countrywide Best Large Chain - National category, at the 2013 ESTA awards. Other awards include our Land & New Homes team being named the UK's Best New Homes Agent at the Estate Agency of the Year Awards 2013 and Countrywide Residential Lettings winning National Large Lettings Agency of the Year at The Negotiator Awards 2013.


2.            Forward Looking Statements

This announcement has been prepared solely to provide additional information to the shareholders of Countrywide plc in order to meet the requirements of the FCA's Disclosure and Transparency Rules.  It should not be relied on by any other party, or for other purposes.  Forward-looking statements have been made by the directors in good faith, using information available up until the date on which they approved this statement.  Forward-looking statements should be regarded with caution, because of the inherent uncertainties in economic trends and business risks.


3.            Next Results Announcement

The next trading update is expected to be the 2014 first half results, due to be issued on

31 July 2014.

This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange