Crest Nicholson

Crest Nicholson updated the market with a trading statement on Wednesday, maintaining its full-year guidance.

The house builder said sales per outlet week remained flat on the year before at 0.78 for the first-half of 2019.

Total sales value achieved to date and forward sold rose 4.2% year-on-year to £792 million.

Meanwhile, net debt and land creditors decreased by £40.9 million during the period.

As a result, Crest Nicholson said that earnings and dividend guidance for the year ahead remain unchanged.

Commenting on today’s statement, Chris Tinker, Interim Chief Executive 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.

We welcome the Government’s increased grant funding and focus on delivering a broader tenure mix. As a consequence, we will continue to grow our partnerships with Registered Providers who are playing an increasingly important role in the diversification of tenures. This strategy trades an element of margin for reduced risk and improved cash flows. Overall, we remain confident in our ability to deliver returns in line with Board expectations.

We maintain a strong balance sheet and operate a disciplined business model, generating good returns on our chosen investments. We have reduced debt in the half year and expect to be cash positive by the end of the year after paying ordinary dividends of 33 pence per share.”

Crest Nicholson announced the appointment of Peter Truscott as its new chief executive in March, amid the departure of Patrick Bergin. Mr Truscott is set to assume the role in September of this year.

Shares in the FTSE 250 Group (LON:CRST) are currently up +0.49% as of 12:46PM (GMT).