Crest Nicholson

Crest Nicholson reported a fall in profits in its half-year results for the six months to April 30.

The house builder said that revenue rose by £501.9 million, compared to £467.6 million the year before.

However, profit before tax fell 11% to £64.4 million, as flat pricing and building cost inflation impacted margins.

The company’s shift away from the London private property also impacted profitability during the period.

Crest Nicholson has increasingly opted to move away from the capital in light of its increasingly stagnant property market, in part due to political and economic uncertainty.

The company have since focused upon developing joint ventures and partnerships, in a bid to strengthen its balance sheet. The move was credited with increasing forward sales 5% to £625.2 million.

The board has agreed to pay an interim dividend of 11.2 pence per share.

Commenting on the figures, Chris Tinker, the firm’s interim chief executive, said:

“The Group has made good progress on delivering its revised strategy during this period of heightened political uncertainty. Having paused growth and de-risked our open market sales programme through increased pre-sales and partnership working, it is pleasing to report our first half revenues up 7% from this time last year.

Our strategy to reduce forward sales risk through an increased proportion of pre-funded, presold homes has also realised a 15% increase in our total forward sales position. This increased certainty has traded an element of operating margin, which together with generally flat pricing and continuing build cost inflation, has contributed to a reduction in the operating margin.”

Crest Nicholson is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

Shares in the company (LON:CRST) are currently trading broadly flat +0.22% as of 11:45AM (GMT).