Countrywide sees profits towards top end of forecasts

Tue May 6, 2014 2:35am EDT

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LONDON May 6 (Reuters) - Countrywide PLC, Britain's largest estate agency, expects to deliver full-year profits towards the top end of its expectations, as the country's housing recovery drives sales and letting transactions.

Countrywide, whose brands include Bairstow Eves and Hamptons International, said on Tuesday it had made a strong start to 2014, with total income for the three months to March 31 up 35 percent at 157.1 million pounds ($264.99 million).

The results, a strong pipeline for the next quarter and the overall rosy outlook for the housing market "puts the group in an excellent position to deliver a financial performance for the year towards the top end of our expectations," it said.

Analysts on average expect Countrywide to post full-year pretax profits of 104.9 million pounds on revenues of 712.7 million pounds, Thomson Reuters data showed.

Shares in Countrywide have risen by almost 70 percent since it returned to the market in March last year after a six year absence, valuing the company at 1.3 billion pounds. ($1 = 0.5929 British Pounds) (Reporting by Brenda Goh; editing by James Davey)

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