The firm said it had benefitted from a strong rebound in housing demand and planned operational savings in overheads and site efficiency programmes.
In an upbeat year-end trading statement, Cresh Nicholson said it would be reintroducing dividend payments at the next half year.
Peter Truscott, chief executive, said: “The introduction of another national lockdown will undoubtedly bring fresh challenges, but we welcome the Government’s support to maintain construction activity and for the housing market to remain open for business.
“Although the macro-economic outlook is uncertain our strategy will remain unchanged.
“We will maintain our strong focus on delivering operational efficiencies and if our trading becomes significantly disrupted we will act decisively again to protect our enhanced balance sheet.
“However, we expect the housing market to remain resilient to the impacts of COVID-19 and as such we are well-positioned to capitalise on that demand, particularly considering our product range and focus in Southern England.”
Internal reorganisation across Crest operating divisions and head office after the first lockdown will deliver £15m in annualised overhead savings.
Crest said its operational efficiency programme had identified £30m of specification savings through better discipline in procurement.
Truscott said this focus had also enabled Crest to improve the quality of materials, improve service levels and develop closer, more strategic relationships with trusted suppliers.
Crest said it had also identified £40m gross margin improvement from existing and future schemes through re-plotting the layout and types of units on those schemes.
The introduction of our a new standard house type range is expected to drive further benefits by way of significantly lower build costs, shorter build times and reduction in complexity.
Presently Crest has over 5,500 future units planned with this range with over 80% of open market houses switched to the new type by 2022.