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Trading Statement From Countrywide

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At the time of our preliminary announcement we pointed out that very weak

trading conditions during the final quarter of 2004 had substantially depleted

work in progress pipelines in our house agency, financial services and

conveyancing businesses. As a consequence of that situation, which was

exacerbated by our simultaneous efforts to incorporate the previously

substantially underperforming businesses acquired from the Bradford & Bingley

Group plc in October 2004, the Group will register a loss during the first

quarter of 2005.

During the first quarter of 2005, we are pleased to have seen a gentle seasonal

recovery in house sales activity. Although it is difficult to make comparison

with prior years because of the effect of the acquired offices on the

comparatives, we believe that transaction levels are between 25 and 30% below

those experienced in the buoyant first quarter of 2004 and considerably less

than one would normally expect. The market remains fragile, and volatile, and

slowed in the second half of March, which included the Easter week-end. Since

the beginning of the year, pipelines of work in progress have all improved but

are still substantially below previous years and this has materially reduced

our expectations for the second quarter.

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