Rumours that the position of Countrywide CEO Alison Platt may be in jeopardy were circulating in the City after its share price hit a new all-time low of £0.98p during mid-day trading today.
Shares in the company have been in freefall since a trading statement on Thursday warned that profits were likely to be lower than expected following a “disappointing” last quarter.
That day its share price dropped 20% but has since fallen overall by a quarter as investor confidence in Countrywide crumbled after the trading update predicted its 2017 profits would be £65m, down by 22% from £83.5m during 2016,
Last night Sky News reported that board members were in private discussions about the future of Alison Platt, who could be pushed out within days, and even if she does hang on, may struggle to survive until the full year results are published on the 8th March.
These are likely to make grim reading, as the trading update suggested last week, and may push the company’s share price down past £1.
If this were to happen then it would mark an extraordinary collapse. Countrywide’s share price has fallen from nearly £6 a share in September 2015 to £1.02 today as tough trading conditions, worries over Brexit and the rise of Purplebricks have slowly eaten away at its business.
The reported problems come just two-and-a-half months since Alison Platt said the company’s hybrid digital roll-out had improved the performance of the business, following a June 2017 soft launch.