Connells says it is in good shape as it welcomes Countrywide into the fold and reveals there are further acquisitions in the pipeline on top of the 850-odd branches due to join from its behemoth former competitor.
But Connells took a battering during the Covid lockdown – total revenue dropped by 12% to £375 million including sales down by 16% and lettings income by 4%.
Connells says this is a good performance given the market shut down for two months, and that it remains the largest seller of new homes in the UK with 8,000 units shifted during 2020, albeit 1,000 fewer than during 2019.
Its mortgage business held up well despite lower sales, generating lending worth £10.9 billion.
But its conveyancing, surveying/valuation businesses endured the most severe downturn. Volumes dropped by 20% at the former and 15% at the latter.
It held its market share at 5.5%, based on its share of total Rightmove listings.
Profits before and after tax held stead compared to 2019 after Connells implemented a cost-cutting exercise following the pandemic, including waiting bonuses for its exec board.
Commenting on the Countrywide deal, says Group CEO David Livesey (pictured) says: “This is an exciting next chapter for us and we very much look forward to welcoming our new colleagues into the Group.
“We believe in a well-invested high street branch network that utilises the best in technology, and we look forward to investing in and enhancing the Countrywide business for our shared success.