Countrywide’s share price starts the week at a new low after the shares lost a fifth of their value in the last two days of last week. It has also been announced that another senior figure in the organisation is to leave for a role elsewhere. Kate Brown, in charge of HR, has been with Countrywide just under three years.
All eyes will now inevitably be on chief executive Alison Platt.
Platt is said to have sent a confidential ‘things will get better’ memo to staff a day after the trading update was published, which warned that reaction from the markets and shareholders would be “challenging”.
She apparently said that all the company’s actions had been aimed at regaining share “and back to winning”. She said that through delivering the company’s plans, Countrywide would return to good health and profitable growth.
She thanked staff for their continued support.
Shares start trading today at 106.8p, having briefly touched an all-time low of 104.2p on Friday.
At close of trading on Wednesday, the shares had been just over 135p.
After Countrywide’s unscheduled trading update on Thursday morning, warning of a drop in revenue and profits, the shares fell that day and on Friday.
Countrywide, the UK’s largest agent, warned that EBITDA is expected to fall from £83.5m to £65m.
Total income in the sales and lettings business for last year is expected to be circa £360m, down 14% on 2016.
Countrywide’s preliminary results are expected to be announced on March 8.
Meanwhile, Countrywide has confirmed that group human resources director Brown is leaving.
A spokesperson said: “We can confirm that Kate Brown will be leaving Countrywide at the end of March to take a new role outside of the business. During her time with us Kate has made a significant impact on the business and we wish her well.”
Brown joined from healthcare provider BUPA as did Platt before joining Countrywide. Joining in March 2015, her name still appears on Countrywide’s executive team as the only other senior woman apart from Platt herself.