Countrywide: Q1 2012 financial results

Corporate Communications

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Countrywide Holdings, Ltd
   31 March 2012

Countrywide Holdings, Ltd, the UK's largest estate agency and property services Group, today announces its financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2012.

Executive Summary

•     Strongest Q1 financial result since 2007

•     Relentless drive for business change continues

•     Significant progress on business volumes and profitability across all Divisions

•     Gross mortgage lending market for 2012 is likely to be flat at best

•     Some short term uncertainty around the potential impact of changes to stamp duty, the Olympics,   Euro 2012 and the Diamond Jubilee

•     Continued lack of effective Government action on supporting the residential housing market

Key Financials
Total Group                        Q1 2012                                                Last 12 months

Revenue (£m)

 122.6

 (+15%)

 524.6

 (+8%)

EBITDA (£m)

 4.5

 (+277%)

 59.7

 (+20%)

Grenville Turner, Chief Executive of Countrywide, theUK's largest property services Group said;

"We have seen an encouraging start to 2012 with all divisions contributing to an improved financial result, in fact our strongest Q1 financial result since 2007.  These results do support the view that our strategy to 'do more to getBritainmoving' is having an impact.

However, we are also aware that as the year progresses, there are other factors at play which may cause short term disruption such as increases in stamp duty on property sales, the Olympics, Euro 2012 and the Diamond Jubilee. Additionally, widespread predictions indicate that the mortgage lending market for 2012 will be flat at best and if the banks continue to restrict their lending, there may be longer term implications.

Mortgage inaccessibility and mortgage affordability remain the biggest hurdles for homemovers and our recent research with YouGov confirms this view from the market with nearly half (45%) of 18-34 year olds citing deposit affordability as the biggest barrier to buying a property.

We are currently at a crossroad for homeownership. With the market operating at half the long-term average, we call on the Government to take effective action to boost the residential housing market as the risk of a further drop is increasing.

Despite external factors, significant financial and operational progress will continue across all parts of the Group coupled with strong cash generation and investment when the appropriate business case is made. Although, the timing of a significant market recovery remains unpredictable, we will continue to invest and lay the foundations to capitalise on future valuable opportunities supported as always by award-winning teams, innovative marketing campaigns and a strong online presence."

A pdf copy of the Q1 2012 results can be downloaded from www.invest.countrywideplc.co.uk

ENDS

About the survey:

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 6215 adults, of which 327 had bought a home in the last two years. Fieldwork was undertaken 13th - 19th March 2012.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

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