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Crest Nicholson expects full-year operating margins at lower end of guidance

Crest Nicholson said it delivered strong growth in revenues and housing unit numbers in the first six months of 2018 but warned that full-year operating margins would be at the lower end of guidance amid continuing build cost inflation.

'Home sales at higher price points will continue to be impacted by a slow second-hand market and will likely to restrain overall price growth in the near term,' the firm said.

'Continuing build cost inflation at 3-4% will mean that operating margins for the full year are expected to be around 18%, at the bottom end of our 18-20% guided range,' the firm said.

Forward sales for the 2018 year including year to date completions were 11% ahead of the same period last year.

The open-market average selling prices had increased by 5.0% to £439k in the first six months of the year, primarily due to changes in product and location mix, the firm said.

'The group has delivered a good sales performance in the first half of the year. The business continues to increase the number of homes built and carries positive momentum into the second half of 2018, with steady outlet growth and higher forward sales,' said Patrick Bergin, Chief Executive.

At 8:39am: (LON:CRST) Crest Nicholson Holdings Plc share price was -56.6p at 437.2p

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