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Crest Nicholson sales improve despite 'heightened uncertainty'

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Wednesday 15 May 2019

Crest Nicholson sales improve despite 'heightened uncertainty'

(Sharecast News) - UK housebuilder Crest Nicholson saw half year sales improve despite "heightened uncertainty", with the group prioritising cash flow and dividends, as well as unlocking value in its land portfolio.
The company posted a 4.2% increase in total sales to £792m in the six months ended 30 April, while sales per outlet week remained flat at 0.78.

While the FTSE 250-listed outfit saw first-half residential sales slide 4% to £715m, the group's total residential forward sales came to £500.5, 11.0% ahead of the same period a year earlier.

Net debt fell to £68.2m and land creditors decreased to £192.6m, representing a combined £40.9m year-on-year reduction.

Looking forward, Crest kept its earnings guidance and outlook for the full year unchanged, despite ongoing political turbulence and "uncertain" demand in the short-term.

Chief executive Chris Tinker said: "The group has made good progress in implementing its strategy in the first half of the year.

"Improved forward sales in residential, commercial and land, and increased outlet breadth, provide a good platform as we enter into the second half of 2019."

As of 0825 BST, Crest Nicholson shares had picked up 1.71% to 372.24p.

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