Countrywide has reported operating profit of £35.8m for the year ended 31 December 2019, compared with £3.6m in 2018.
The group also said adjusted EBITDA pre-IFRS 16 of £24.4 was up 16% year-on-year and ahead of the board’s expectations. Sales transaction volumes were also up 3% on a like-for-like basis after adjusting for the impact of branch closures, and total Sales volumes for the year were 3% lower resulting in an income reduction of 5%.
However, group income for the full year was £498.1m, down 3% after absorbing £12.2m impact of the tenant fee ban.
The group said it saw a positive start through the end of February in agreed sales which continued during March, with the pipeline of agreed sales 9% ahead year-on-year through the first 12 weeks of the year.
The pipeline remained resilient and stood at approximately £50m, ahead year-on-year. Equally, it continued to see the benefits of the recurring income from approximately 86,000 properties we manage across the UK on behalf of private and investor landlords and our book of general insurance policies.
Following the Government’s announcement on 12 May 2020 of the re-opening of the housing market in England, the group undertook a comprehensive risk assessment of our business operations to ensure the health and safety of staff and customers.
It has now begun phased re-opening for business across all of our operating channels, including physical branches and valuation visits in addition to the continuation of web-chat and telephony contact.
Countrywide said: “We have accelerated the expansion of our virtual viewing offerings, adapting to social distancing measures, and we are offering our customers online mortgage advice.
“This way of working is resonating well with our colleagues and customers who are appreciative of this multi-channel choice of engagement, providing support and advice whilst allowing everyone to stay safe.”