Crest Nicholson’s 2014 results put it in a strong position for year ahead

Adam Hignett
PROPERTY developer Crest Nicholson reported a 21 per cent increase in revenue during its annual results for the year ending 31 October to £636m which translated to a 34 per cent increase in profit before tax of £116m.

The company said the prospect of strong cash generation over the next three years meant it would increase its final dividend to 10.2p , from 6.5p, representing cover of 2.75 times earnings. It said it would reduce its cover to two times over the next three years.

It increased the operating profit margin to 20.1 per cent, up from 18.5 per cent the previous year.

The company saw the volume of completions increase 16 per cent on the year meaning it met is volumes target well ahead of schedule.

The positive results mean shareholders saw a return on capital employed of 26 per cent exceeding its IPO commitment of 20 per cent, with earnings per share up 34 per cent. Stephen Stone, chief executive, said: “Crest Nicholson enters 2015 in a strong position and we are encouraged by the strong start to the year.”

Nicholson said the availability of cheap mortgages and positive news on jobs was underpinning demand and there were “all the ingredients” for a long-term sustainable market.