Countrywide invested £24m in UK rental market in 2013

Over the past five years the firm has invested £47.2m in acquiring over 60 lettings businesses throughout England and Scotland and in the past six years has added over 300 branches to its lettings network.

Nick Dunning, Countrywide group commercial director, said: “The 28 acquisitions made in the past 12 months are in line with our selective acquisitions strategy, which includes plans to complete a similar number of acquisitions in 2014.

“These acquisitions significantly increase our regional footprint and fill in the geographical gaps in our portfolio. A highly fragmented lettings market offers ongoing opportunities to acquire lettings businesses and scope to enter new markets as well as expand our presence in existing markets.

“We have fully integrated the 28 businesses within the overall Countrywide lettings model and this has led to strong growth in the lettings division.

“This is an exciting period for Countrywide Residential Lettings and the growth of our lettings operation continues to be a major focus as it remains a key income driver for the Group.”

John Hards, managing director, Countrywide Residential Lettings, added: “I am delighted to welcome the acquisitions to the Countrywide Residential Lettings team and look forward to working with all who have joined us.

“Countrywide has a unique ability to grow businesses by ensuring they operate autonomously, retain their local heritage and benefit from Countrywide’s ongoing investment and support.

“For clients, Countrywide’s structure, scale and all-round property expertise enables it to best serve the needs of clients of all sizes; from private landlords to corporate investors.

“In line with our expansion strategy and with more acquisitions in the pipeline, we are very interested in talking to professional agents with single or multi branch businesses almost anywhere in the UK.”

Key acquisitions in 2013 include Russells Lettings in Cambridgeshire and Fitz-Gibbon Lettings in South West London.