Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Countrywide Holdings, Ltd. ("Countrywide" / "the Group")
Financial results for the year ended 31 December 2012
STRATEGIC TRANSFORMATION DRIVES CONTINUED MOMENTUM
Group financial highlights
Grenville Turner, Group Chief Executive, commented:
“In a broadly flat housing market, albeit with some encouraging signs, we are delighted that our focus and drive in the Lettings division - a key driver of our business - has continued to deliver strong momentum resulting in record financial performance in 2012.
“Buy-to-let landlords remain a rising force in the sector, as they seek to capitalise on the growing rental market as young adults and families struggle to get on the housing ladder. Due to demand and in anticipation of future growth, we heavily invested in our Lettings division undertaking thirteen acquisitions in the year and completing 176 news starts since 2010. We have also budgeted £20 million for strategic lettings acquisitions in 2013.
“The exact timing of a recovery in the UK residential market remains difficult to predict; however, we have seen an increase in mortgage approvals and an improvement in sentiment in the sector. Government initiatives to boost mortgage lending appear to be kicking in, as the Funding for Lending scheme helped lenders to lower interest rates and improve availability in the past few months. At Countrywide, we helped secure 54,000 mortgages for our customers and witnessed general stability in house prices, albeit with regional variations. We expect this to continue in 2013.
"Over the last six years, Countrywide has been transformed into the UK’s largest integrated property services group. We capitalised upon significant growth opportunities via strategic acquisitions and high street branches to enjoy leading market shares in all our core businesses. We are now embarking on a new chapter in our growth plans with continued investment in key strategic areas.
"We expect continuing resilience in house prices nationally and continued improvement in lender sentiment in 2013. Our Estate Agency division is positioned for a market recovery and our Lettings division is well placed to benefit from the growth trend in the rental market. In Countrywide we have built a diversified business with strong prospects irrespective of any housing market recovery. With this in mind we view 2013 with confidence and look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.”
Forward looking statements
This announcement contains ‘‘forward-looking’’ statements, beliefs or opinions, including statements with respect to the business, financial condition, results of operations and plans of the Group. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Group’s control and all of which are based on the directors’ current beliefs and expectations about future events. Forward-looking statements are sometimes identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "believes", "expects", "may", "will", "could", "should", "shall", "risk", "intends", "estimates", "aims", "plans", "predicts", "continues", "assumes", “targets”, "positioned" or "anticipates" or the negative thereof, other variations thereon or comparable terminology or by discussions of strategy, plans, objectives, goals, future events or intentions. These forward-looking statements include all matters that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements may and often do differ materially from actual results. They appear in a number of places throughout this announcement and include statements regarding the intentions, beliefs or current expectations of the directors or the Group with respect to future events and are subject to risks relating to future events and other risks, uncertainties and assumptions relating to the Group’s business, concerning, amongst other things, the results of operations, financial condition, prospects, growth and strategies of the Group and the industry in which it operates. These forward-looking statements and other statements contained in this announcement regarding matters that are not historical facts involve predictions. No assurance can be given that such future results will be achieved; actual events or results may differ materially as a result of risks and uncertainties facing the Group. Such risks and uncertainties could cause actual results to vary materially from the future results indicated, expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained in this announcement speak only as of the date of this document. The Group disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update, review or revise any forward-looking statements contained in this document to reflect any change in its expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which such statements are based unless required to do so by applicable law.
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