Crest Nicholson has continued to grow overall housing volumes this year, while maintaining a focus on both margins and return on capital as it pursues a disciplined growth strategy. Overall housing unit completions in 2017 were up by 2.3% at 2,935 homes. The group said open-market average selling prices had increased by 5.4% to £391k (excluding PRS impact), in line with its well established strategy to position the business at around this pricing level. The group said it anticipated growth in revenues across all tenures and reported sales for the year to be c. 6-7% higher than FY2016. It said EBIT margins were expected to be consistent with management's previous guidance for a good year, at the top end of the 18% to 20% range and return on capital employed approaching 30%. The average number of sales outlets across the year was 51, an increase of 8.5% over the 47 achieved in 2016. It said underlying sales rates for the year, excluding PRS, averaged 0.77 sales per outlet week (2016: 0.81) which reflected the increase in the group's average selling prices and, to some extent, the softer market in Central London. It said sales rates remained generally strong for properties below the £1m price level. But it said the supply of skills and materials continued to be a challenge.
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