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An ugly start to the morning for Countrywide.

The estate agency group’s shares have fallen to an all-time low today after it announced a 59 per cent slump in annual pre-tax profits and a fresh share placing.

Investors have turned cool on the company, which owns Britain’s largest network of residential estate agents, driving its shares 10 per cent lower at the start of Thursday’s trading to a record low of 162.75p.

They’ve since recovered some ground to slip 7.9 per cent at publication time.

Shares are down over 50 per cent since the UK’s Brexit vote in June, with the company suffering from the tough trading environment in Britain’s housing market after the referendum. Countrywide’s competitor Foxtons also suffered an all-time share price low yesterday after it was hit by a cooling London housing market.

Reporting its annual results today, the estate agent announced a sharp cut to its dividend and said it would carry out a share placing amounting to up to 9.99 per cent of its share capital to reinforce its balance sheet.

Read more: Estate agents – over-heated (Lex)

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