- Retirement home developer and manager McCarthy & Stone posted a 66% drop in first-half profit after rising revenue was offset by restructuring costs.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through February fell to £3.6m, even as revenue rose 18% to £280.5m.

The company said its bottom line was impacted by £14m of exceptional costs related to its new business strategy, including restructuring, redundancy and consultancy costs.

Underlying profit rose 64% to £18.9m amid an 11% rise in legal completions to 845 and 7% rise in average selling prices to £319k.

McCarthy & Stone kept its interim dividend steady at 1.9p per share.

On its outlook, the company said completion volumes remained ahead of prior year, 'despite increasingly challenging market conditions with continued use of part-exchange'.

The forward order book as at 5 April was currently 17% lower on-year, with higher quality reservations now being held due to improved controls.

'During the first reporting period of our transformation strategy and against the backdrop of continuing uncertainty and challenging market conditions, we delivered encouraging results,' chief executive John Tonkiss said.

'We are making significant progress across our strategic objectives, which focus on optimising our operations to deliver strong financial performance and increasing our return on capital employed, margins and cash generation over the next three years.'

'We are mindful of the economic and political uncertainty that all businesses are currently facing but are confident that our FY19 expected volume out-turn remains in line with the bexpectations with increased use of discounts and incentives, particularly part-exchange, now expected to continue into the second half to counteract more challenging secondary market conditions.'

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