Crest Nicholson posts ‘disappointing’ results after building fewer homes

Housebuilder Crest Nicholson has seen profits and sales dip over the past year after it built fewer homes.

The FTSE 250 company said revenue slipped 3% to £1.1 billion for the year to October 31, after its number of completed homes sank 4%.

Crest told investors that it was “disappointed” with its financial results for 2019, as it was pressed down by weak consumer confidence.

It reported a 28% slump in adjusted pre-tax profits to £121.1 million as it was held back by lagging sales.

Chief executive Peter Truscott, who joined Crest in September after leaving rival Galliford Try, said the disappointing trading performance highlighted a need for the company to “evolve and change”.

He said the business will shift its strategy for the new year in a bid to return to growth, which he said will be achieved by increasing partnerships, maximising value in its land portfolio and driving operational efficiencies.

Crest held firm on its financial forecasts for the current financial year, predicting another slight dip in profits, as it forecast adjusted pre-tax profits between £110 million and £120 million.

However, the firm said it has seen “encouraging signs” in the sector in recent months and believes last month’s election has provided a more stable backdrop.

Mr Truscott said: “We have already taken decisive action in reducing our sales-related costs and overheads, launched an enhanced house type range including a full specification review, and have made organisational changes to realise our ambitions in our partnerships division.

“We have assembled an experienced new leadership team with the necessary skills and capabilities to take Crest Nicholson forward.

“In 2020 we will continue to work quickly in implementing further changes to improve performance and to create value for shareholders.”

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