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Crest Nicholson: House builder’s profit craters 71 per cent ahead of new chief’s arrival

Construction workers lay bricks around window apertures for a new home under construction at a Crest Nicholson Holdings Plc residential housing development  (Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Construction workers lay bricks around window apertures for a new home under construction at a Crest Nicholson Holdings Plc residential housing development (Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Shares in house builder Crest Nicholson have fallen by 11 per cent after the firm forecast earnings would fall by one third amid challenges in the property sector.

The board of the FTSE 250 firm said operating profit slid 71.9 per cent on last year to £6.2m, while revenue over the six months to April was down 8.9 per cent to £257m.

Crest Nicholson said it was still feeling the pinch from a tough market, with volatile mortgage rates and low consumer confidence having eaten into property builders’ bottom line in the last 18 months.

Over the period, Crest completed the build of 788 new homes, slightly below last year’s reading of 894. 

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Back in March, Crest said it is likely to build 11 per cent fewer homes in the financial year 2024.

Today’s results come just one day before Martyn Clark’s arrival as the new chief executive officer.

He replaces Peter Truscott, who has been the boss since 2019 and during his time in charge reshaped Crest Nicholson’s strategy and oversaw an efficiency drive.

Truscott said: “We have made some important operational progress in the first half of the year against our strategic priorities.”

“We are on track to achieve a five-star customer service rating, have a clear and comprehensive plan to resolve the legacy and operational issues, and continue to focus on maintaining a strong balance sheet.

“The group is continuing to focus on completing its low margin sites, with FY23 and FY24 being the peak years of impact and the majority of the remainder expected to be traded through during FY25.”