Crest Nicholson profits surge in maiden results

 
Kasmira Jefford
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A SURGE in mortgage availability together with government initiatives designed to help homebuyers helped boost housebuilder Crest Nicholson’s results in the first half of the year.

The 50-year-old company is set to enter the FTSE 250 index at the end of this week after completing a listing in February which valued it at £553m.

In its maiden set of results yesterday since its successful return to market, the company said the average sales rate per week increased by 18 per cent to 0.77 per outlet, thanks to a pick-up in activity in the market.

Crest Nicholson said initiatives such as the Help to Buy scheme should “if sustained, create the confidence for the industry to increase delivery from currently low levels”.

However, chief executive Stephen Stone warned that despite improved sales, it would take a while for this to translate into more houses being built.

“Provided lenders and planning authorities also play their part, we would expect to see volume growth coming through more fully by the end of the calendar year,” he said.

Pre-tax profits jumped 76 per cent to £28.1m in the six month period to

30 April thanks to a nine per cent rise in legal completions to 810 homes.

Group revenues rose 39 per cent to £192m from £138.6m last year. Crest now has a landbank of 17,000 units, 63 per cent of which are in the south east.