Countrywide cuts dead weight

Countrywide has chosen to end its remortgage conveyancing operation and its Spanish overseas estate agency, H2O homes.

The estate agency, which recently accepted a buyout offer from US equity firm Apollo Management, reported profits of £113.8m in 2006 as it plans to reshuffle its national and international business.

It also reported a 24% increase in turnover from £528.2m in 2005 to £654.2m in 2006.

Mortgages arranged by the firm were up from 639,028 in 2005 to 697,305 in 2006.

Countrywide says it has chosen to end the two businesses after reporting unsustainable losses on both fronts.

It admits a specialised overseas agent would be able to offer a wider range of opportunities in the Spanish market, while cut throat competition in the remortgage conveyancing market has led Countrywide to withdraw from this area of business.