Profit before tax fell 15 per cent at housebuilder Crest Nicholson last year with its chief executive blaming Brexit and slower demand in London.
In the year to 31 October pre-tax profit was £176.4m, compared to £207m the year previously, while operating profit margin fell from 20.3 per cent to 16.7 per cent.
Chief executive Patrick Bergin said: “It has been a challenging year in a difficult market, with Brexit and political uncertainty impacting consumer confidence and breeding unease.”
He also said the higher end of the market, particularly in London, had been slow.
"We have faced some challenges in London and with sales at higher price points where political and economic uncertainty has adversely impacted customer demand and this is likely to continue pending Brexit resolution,” he said.
However, forward sales at mid-January were up 11 per cent on the previous year at £639.4m, which Begin said had been boosted by the company’s strategic partnerships and its new channels to market.
Bergin warned that political and economic uncertainty caused by Brexit meant that the first half of the current year could be a difficult one.
“In the context of an unresolved Brexit, I expect the first half of 2019 to be difficult. However, I believe our new strategy will ensure the business is fighting fit and equipped to deal with any challenges it faces,” he said.
In October the housebuilder warned its profits would be lower than expected and said its chief financial officer Robert Allen was stepping down, leaving Bergin and executive chair Stephen Stone to take the lead on a new strategy focused on prioritising cash flow and dividends and improving efficiency.
Crest Nicholson’s shares were up 2.63 per cent this morning at 350p.