Crest Nicholson’s profits rise

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BRITISH housebuilder Crest Nicholson has posted a 40 per cent rise in full-year pre-tax profit.

The company, whose shares are trading about 40 per cent higher since it raised £225m in its listing, has been one of the big beneficiaries from a Government push to help Britons purchase homes which has boosted buyer sentiment across the wider housing market. Crest Nicholson said pre-tax profits for the year to October 31 rose to £80.9m, from £62.1m, against a 29 percent increase in revenues to £525.7m.

The company said it completed 2,172 homes over the year, up 15 per cent, and the sales it generated per outlet each week were up 34 per cent at 0.9. Its forward sales - homes sales that have been reserved with deposits - at mid-January was £329.5m, 51 pe rcent ahead of the prior year.

It proposed to pay a final dividend of 6.5 pence per share.

“As consumer sentiment and credit availability have improved, constraints on growth are increasingly determined by the supply chain, the shelf-life of mortgage offers and the planning process,” chairman William Rucker said.

“Nonetheless, the trading environment is healthy and we look forward to continuing to deliver in 2014.”