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15 May 2019 | 08:09

Crest Nicholson's puts growth strategy on pause amid Brexit uncertainty

Crest Nicholson said it had paused its growth strategy to focus on delivering cashflow and dividends as homebuilder reiterated the demand outlook in the short-term remained uncertain amid ongoing Brexit uncertainty. 'Crest Nicholson has made good progress on its revised strategy of focusing on shareholder returns by pausing growth during this period of heightened uncertainty, prioritising cashflow and dividends, and unlocking value in the land portfolio through partnerships and joint venture opportunities,' the company said. Total residential forward sales at £500.5m were up 11.0% in the first half of the year, compared with the same period last year, the company said. Total sales achieved and forward sold turnover for 2019, including commercial and land sales rose 4.2% to £792m in the first half. But residential sales achieved to date and forward sold for 2019 at £715m were 4.0% below last year. The company entered the second half of the year with increased site coverage, operating from an average of 58 outlets, 11.5% higher than last year. Build cost inflation for the year was expected to lie within the range of 3-4%. 'The group has made good progress in implementing its strategy in the first half of the year. Improved forward sales in residential, commercial and land, and increased outlet breadth, provide a good platform as we enter into the second half of 2019,' the company said. 'We maintain a strong balance sheet and operate a disciplined business model, generating good returns on our chosen investments. We have reduced debt in the half year and expect to be cash positive by the end of the year after paying ordinary dividends of 33 pence per share.'

At 8:09am: (LON:CRST) Crest Nicholson Holdings Plc share price was +5.2p at 371.2p

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