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Crest Nicholson to enter the FTSE 250 as revenue and operating profit jump

Crest Nicholson is set to enter the FTSE 250 at market close today, after reporting boosts to both revenue and operating profit.

In the firm’s half-year results to 30 April 2013, released this week, revenue jumped 39 per cent to £192m, up from £138.6m in 2012.

Likewise, operating profit jumped 60 per cent to £28.9m, up from £13.1m on 2012, with profit after tax up 75 per cent to £16m.

The numbers will come as yet another indication that the housebuilding market is strengthing, after Berkeley Group posted a 26 per cent pre-tax profit hike for the year to 30 April 2013.

Legal completions were up 9 per cent to 810 compared with 746 in 2012, with housing revenue up 30 per cent on the back of growing sales outlets and higher selling prices.

The operating profit margin also increased 2.4 per cent to 18.1 per cent.

Over the period just over 1,000 plots were added to the short-term land bank, primarily in the South-east and London, with around 1,500 added to the strategic land bank across seven sites.

Forward sales as of mid-June stood at £330.9m, up 50.1 per cent on the prior year.

“I am delighted to announce excellent results from Crest Nicholson for the first half of the year,” Crest Nicholson chief executive Stephen Stone said. “This represents a strong start to our return as a listed company.

“Purchaser demand for high-quality homes, on well-designed developments, remains robust and signs of improved access to mortgages together with the initiatives that the government has put in place should help to stimulate activity in the industry and assist people in purchasing a new home.

“With this improving sentiment and the opportunities available to the business, the board remains confident in the outturn for the year.”

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