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Connells, the estate agency group that is in the process of buying the Countrywide group, saw total house sale exchanges down by 16 per cent and revenue down by £51m in the year to December 2020. This, it said, was ‘a good performance given the housing market shut down’.
The company, which prides itself on being quick on its feet and new-tech-savvy, was still able to notch up a small increase in profits – up from £50.1m to £51.8m.
It ended the year with largest market share of any UK estate agency group at 5.5 per cent, and this before it welcomes Countrywide into the group.
The number of rental properties under management remained steady during the year, although total lettings income was down by 4 per cent ‘largely due to the two month period of lockdown’.
‘Although we started the year positively, the ongoing pandemic and closure of the housing market for two months in the first lockdown impacted business significantly in 2020’, admitted Connells Group chief executive David Livesey, commenting on the company’s annual results, just published.
But, ‘demonstrating our resilience and ability to react quickly to change, combined with a strong market, we recorded a healthy profit that is marginally ahead of last year’, he said.
Completion of the Countrywide deal is expected by the end of the first quarter of 2021, ‘subject to FCA approval and the sanction of the Court’, said Livesey. Meanwhile, ‘the Group continues to explore opportunities for expansion either through acquisition or organic growth’.