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Estate agents Countrywide and Foxtons suffer collapse of profits

27 Juillet 2017

Pretax profit fell to 447,000 pounds ($587,402.70) in the six months to June 30, from 24.3 million pounds a year earlier.

Nic Budden, chief executive, said the Capital's property market was still being affected by the 2016 hike in stamp duty on buy-to-let and second homes.

Countrywide, which set out plans to cut costs in March, said total savings rose to about 19 million pounds. Its shares are down 5 per cent.

However, shares still tanked more than 10% to 146.7p on Thursday morning as investors chose to focus instead on the poor results.

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"The first half of 2017 was tough for the group compared to the same period previous year, given the high levels of housing transactions brought forward in time as a result of the stamp duty changes and the European Union referendum", Chief Executive Alison Platt said.

Countrywide Plc shares plummeted to a record low after the property services group reported a 98 percent fall in first-half profit as demand was tempered by a higher property tax, and uncertainty following the general election and the Brexit vote.

Alison Platt, Countrywide's chief executive said: "We are building a stronger business for our future and remain on track with our goals to broaden our digital capability, reduce our operating cost base and strengthen our balance sheet. Based on our current performance and the outlook for housing transactions in the United Kingdom, we expect our results and our leverage for the full year to be within the range of market expectations", said Countrywide chief executive Alison Platt.

The numbers come after official figures showed annual house price growth cooled down further in May.

Estate agents Countrywide and Foxtons suffer collapse of profits