Housebuilder on the Crest of a wave

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HOUSEBUILDER Crest Nicholson, which returned to the stock market in February last year, posted a 40 per cent rise in full-year pre-tax profit yesterday and said its sales position at mid-January was strong.

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 people 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 per cent increase in revenues to £525.7m.

Analysts had expected the company to post full year profits between £79m-£86m, on revenues between £486m-£521m, Thomson Reuters data showed.

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 per cent ahead of the prior year.