UK Markets closed

Crest Nicholson poaches Galliford boss as CEO, shares jump

(Reuters) - British housebuilder Crest Nicholson Holdings hired the chief executive officer of construction firm Galliford Try, Peter Truscott, to take over as CEO from September, sending Crest shares sharply higher on Tuesday.

Truscott will replace Patrick Bergin, who agreed to step down as CEO and from the board at the annual meeting on Tuesday, Crest said.

Galliford said Finance Director Graham Prothero will become its new chief executive officer.

Crest shares were up 7.2 percent as of 0848 GMT, while Galliford shares were down 2.1 percent.

Crest had appointed a new finance director last month after the previous executive quit in October following a profit warning. It recently forecast a "difficult" first half but said it was confident in the long-term future of its core housing markets.

The company, traditionally associated with upmarket properties in southern England, has faced challenges with uncertainty surrounding Britain's impending exit from the European Union as consumers shy away from buying homes and foreign investors stay on the sidelines.

With Truscott's appointment, it hopes to tap into his more-than thirty years of experience in housebuilding, having also worked at Taylor Wimpey for 19 years, and turn the company around.

Galliford, known for construction projects ranging from the redevelopment of the Wimbledon tennis venue to hospitals and city bypasses, has also faced Brexit hiccups.

The company said Andrew Duxbury, finance director of its Linden Homes unit, will succeed Prothero as group finance director.

Crest Nicholson said its current chairman of major projects and strategic partnerships, Chris Tinker, will serve as interim chief executive officer.

(Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Gopakumar Warrier)