View more on these topics

Profits up at Countrywide

Countrywide’s financial services division increased its 2011 profits by 66%, its annual results reveal.

Its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were £9.4m in 2011, compared with £5.7m in 2010.

And revenue in its financial services division was up at £62.1m, compared with £57.2m in 2010.

Overall, Countrywide group’s EBITDA before exceptional items was £56.4m in 2011, compared with £51.5m in 2010, with revenue of £509.1m, up from £477.9m in 2010.

It attributes the increase in profits in its financial services division to the rollout of mortgage administration fees across the business and the successful acquisition of Mortgage Intelligence group during April 2011.

Mortgage advances completed within the core business totalled £4.10bn, which is marginally below the £4.23bn seen in 2010.

The group says it has sacrificed a small amount of market share in exchange for a fee charging structure.

Mortgage Intelligence completions totalled £3.06bn, with total lending of £7.16bn.

It had 925 employees at the end of the year, which is a reduction from 1,004 in the prior year. These headcount figures include 643 active mortgage consultants, down from 659 in the prior year.

But the group says it is actively recruiting with a view to adding a further 5% next year.

The results also reveal that Countrywide continues to experience professional indemnity insurance claims in its surveying division arising from the property market between 2004 and 2007.

An estimate of these exceptional losses was established at the end of 2010 and further data and trends have resulted in an exceptional charge of £9.4m in 2011.

Grenville Turner, group chief executive at Countrywide, says: “Despite challenging conditions, 2011 saw real progress continue across all areas of the Countrywide Group with cash profits growing 10% year-on-year. 

“This is a great result in a market where volumes were down on 2010.These figures are even more impressive as we also made significant investments in the business, providing £24m in 2011 for acquisitions, branch refurbishments, system developments and new office openings.

“Our growth strategy supported by significant investment saw us increase our presence in prime South East with new branches for the UK Sotheby’s International Realty, Hamptons International and Faron Sutaria brands, identifiy sensible geographic acquisitions such as Blundells and also focus on growing established brands such as Bridgfords and Hetheringtons.

“These investments were supported by award-winning teams, innovative marketing campaigns and a strong online presence.”

Recommended

It’s in our interest to thwart rising fraud

With buy-to-let numbers rising and attempted fraud up by 7% quarter-on-quarter last year, according to Experian, there is growing concern that with the self-cert market defunct, disreputable borrowers are using buy-to-let to buy property to live in if they can’t prove their income.

Teamwork is the only way to go

Since buying a house is all about bringing together interlocking elements and agreements, the last thing anyone involved wants is extra complications. So as we work together to make the puzzle a piece, things like short-term rate pulls don’t fit

Bob Young

At least the outlook for B2L is positive

While there’s been little to smile about since the credit crunch hit a few years back, the upward trajectory of the buy-to-let market has offered some comfort.

How we’re challenging challenger banks

The bridging market has enjoyed an excellent couple of years and, as a result, has seen a succession of new lenders enter the market. That competition has forced all of us to look carefully at how we price bridging loans. Over the past few months we have spent a lot of time on adjusting the […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up
Comments
  • Post a comment
  • Ex rogue 2nd March 2012 at 1:40 pm

    The fees seem to have had their intended purpose of generating profit rather than a reasonable cost for the administrative work undertaken. Caveat emptor.