Crest Nicholson sounds profit warning

Grant Prior 1 year ago
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Crest Nicholson issued a profit warning this morning following “volatile” housing sales and the cost of complying with post-Grenfell removal of combustible materials.

The house builder is writing down the value of some of its legacy London sites by £10m and has recorded an exceptional charge of £17m to fire proof completed developments.

The moves will see pre-tax profits for 2019 come in lower than expected at £120m-130m – down from £176m last year and £207m  the year before.

Profits for 2020 are predicted at £110m-120m then “strong profit growth in FY2021 and beyond as the updated strategy starts to take full effect.”

Crest Nicholson has also launched a cost-cutting drive under new chief executive Peter Truscott who joined the business last month.

He said Crest would make a material and sustainable reduction to the on-going overhead and sales-related costs of operations.

The firm will also rein back land sales this year as it seeks to raise the number of sales outlets and develops schemes of differing tenure type.

Truscott said: “Crest Nicholson is a great business, which builds high quality homes and communities for our customers and is well placed to deliver for shareholders.

“The Company’s high-quality land portfolio with a strong South-East presence offers significant opportunity to generate value for shareholders and we have identified a number of opportunities that will enable us to strengthen shareholder returns over the medium term.

“We are taking decisive action to ensure the business moves further and faster to make the most of the opportunities in front of it.

“While current market conditions remain uncertain, the prospects for Crest Nicholson over the medium term remain highly attractive.”

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