The latest Countrywide results for the third quarter of the year show year-on-year revenue increased by 2% compared to the previous three months, but was down by 7% year-on-year.
And after rolling out its hybrid/digital proposition across half of its network, and despite CEO Alison Platt revealing last week at the Negotiator Conference that its digital Every Customer Counts strategy was delivering better performance, the trading statement suggests this roll-out has now been paused while the company evaluates the strategy’s results so far.
But the bullish headline figures in the trading statement also mask some alarming figures from the sales market.
Countrywide’s estate agency business’ revenues dropped by £10m or 23% to £47.8m even though transaction levels increased compared to the first two quarters of the year.
Compared to the previous quarter, overall revenues increased by 1.5% in London and by 2% across the UK, while its lettings business saw a decline of £2 million year-on-year.
Highlights of the quarter include the company’s mortgages business where total lending increased by 16% year-on-year to £4.7 billion although overall its financial services division revenue dipped as property sales continued to decline.
“We have a clear strategy founded on being the provider of choice for property services in the UK and to give customers the ability to use Countrywide across multiple channels,” says Alison (pictured, left).
“During the quarter, we continued to extend multi-channel offerings to our customers, which shows through in the resilience of the overall revenue performance.
“Our focus on cost reduction remains equally unabated and we are mobilising the next phase of our cost transformation programme.”
In the trading statement Countrywide also says its recent cost-cutting and branch closing programme is bearing fruit – costs so far this year are down 7% year-on-year.