- Crest Nicholson reported a fall in profit as the homebuilder sold fewer homes at lower prices amid a shift in focus to more affordable housing.

The company also announced that Leslie Van de Walle, deputy chairman, would not stand for re-election at the company's forthcoming annual general meeting on 24 March. For the year through October, pre-tax fell to £102.7m from £168.7m on-year as sales slipped to £1.09bn from £1.12bn amid a 4% decline in completions to 2,912 homes.

'Continuing our commitment to re-position more of our developments to lower average selling price (ASP) locations and housing types, open market ASPs declined 2.0% in the year to £388K,' the company said. The full-year dividend was unchanged at 33.0p per share.

Looking to the year ahead, the company said it expected home completions to increase to 3,500 in 2020 from 2,912 last year and adjusted operating profit margin to improve by a minimum of 250 basis points.

The anticipated sales mix would be made of 60% private 20%-to-25%, affordable and 15%-to-20% bulk, the company said.

'While it is too early to form a view on the impact for 2020 trading we are seeing some encouraging signs. Footfall and visitor numbers on our developments have increased and traffic on our website is up,' Crest Nicholson said. 'We remain confident in our ability to deliver on our previous guidance and re-iterate our expectations for 2020 adjusted profit before tax at £110m-to-£120m,' it added. At 8:03am: [LON:CRST] Crest Nicholson Holdings Plc share price was +0.7p at 440.9p

Story provided by