Countryside Properties shares down 5% after disrupted year

Countryside Properties shares (LON: CSP) fell almost 5% on Thursday after house completions fell from 5,733 to 4,053.

The property group released a trading update for the period between 1 October 2019 to 30 September 2020, revealing an adjusted operating profit of £54m once final numbers are calculated.

Due to the disruption caused by the pandemic, the number of houses was completed significantly reduced. The number of “affordable” homes built fell from 2,179 in 2019 to 1,691, whilst private homes delivered fell to 1,454 from 2,177 a year earlier.

Despite the slowing down over the past year, trading has picked up thanks to a number of government initiatives. The total forward order book at the end of September rose by 17% to £1.4bn – up from £1.2bn.

Iain McPherson, the Countryside Properties chief executive, commented: “We have seen significant disruption to our business this year as a result of COVID-19 and I would like to thank all our staff for the way they have adapted to new ways of working in these unprecedented times.

“We have been pleased by robust customer demand throughout the second half and our mixed tenure model continues to prove resilient, positioning us well in the current market. We are focused on delivering our enhanced growth plan, building on our strong pipeline of work and our relationships to further expand our geographical footprint. We will continue to work with our partners to deliver sustainable communities across the country.”

The property group remains positive by the improving performance seen in the second half of the year. Whilst the broader economic outlook is still very much uncertain, Countryside Properties ensure they are well positioned for the current financial year thanks to a strong forward order book.

Countryside Properties shares (LON: CSP) are currently trading 4.45% down at 330,60 (1158GMT).