- McCarthy & Stone said first-half profits slipped after the retirement home builder encountered higher costs and a lower first-time occupations.

Annual pre-tax profit fell by 1% to £92.1m, while underlying pre-tax profit fell 10% to £94.1m.

Revenue rose 4% to £660.9m, but the company said this was offset by the age and mix of units sold and increased incentives and build costs.

The company declared a final dividend of 3.6p per share, giving a total dividend for the year of 5.4p per share, up from 4.5p in the prior year.

In the current financial year, forward sales as at November 10 were up 11% at £277m.

"The group starts the new financial year with a strong forward order book and a robust balance sheet," chief executive Clive Fenton said.

"We remain focused on delivering profitable growth and are on track to open around 80 sales outlets and deliver more than 65 first occupations in FY18."

"We have sufficient land under control, much of which already has detailed planning consent, to deliver our strategic growth plan of building and selling more than 3,000 units per annum."

At 8:11am: [LON:MCS] McCarthy Stone Plc share price was +5.25p at 152.45p

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