Hambro Countrywide misses dividend again

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The Independent Online
ONCE AGAIN the sorry state of the housing market has led Hambro Countrywide, the estate agent and financial services group, to pass its final dividend. The company paid a nominal 0.05p at the interim stage, writes Topaz Amoore.

Losses have lessened from pounds 6.48m to pounds 3.14m, however, and Christopher Sporborg, chairman, said the financial year to 31 December 1992 had ended on an optimistic note.

'The signs are that, following an unexpectedly active December, business is picking up,' he said.

'The most recent interest rate cuts have brought the lowest mortgage rates since 1977 and home ownership is now more financially attractive than renting.'

Losses rose in the estate agency division as income from house sales dropped by pounds 5.5m because of falling prices. Hambro Countrywide sold 39,118 houses in the year, down by 3.2 per cent.

Mr Sporborg said the agency had still increased market share, because national statistics indicated that house sales had fallen by as much as 23 per cent.

Profits from life assurance went up by pounds 727,000 to pounds 9.3m. The company arranged more than 14,000 mortgages and 17,000 life policies for house buyers, lower volumes than in previous years.

Turnover was down by pounds 2.4m at pounds 90.8m. The loss per share was 0.99p, against a 1.95p loss last time. The shares closed unchanged at 46p yesterday.

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