Crest Nicholson has posted a sharp increase in interim pre-tax profit, as the British housebuilder looked to have shrugged off the uncertainty surrounding the European Union referendum.
In the six months to the end of April, the London-listed company saw pre-tax profits surge 26% year-on-year to £58.9m ($83.3m, €73.9m), while total sales rose £56.3m to £297.7m. The FTSE 250 group added the completion rate rose 7% to 1,206 houses, while forward sales climbed almost 20% compared to the corresponding period in 2015 to £520.8m.
Data released earlier this month by Halifax showed the average UK price rose by 1.4% to £213,472 over the three months to the end of May when compared with the previous quarter, a slight drop from the 1.5% growth in April. The annual rate of average house price growth was the same at 9.2%.
Concern about the impact of a potential Brexit from the EU after the 23 June referendum is paralysing some parts of the property market. Investors in central London property, both residential and commercial, are delaying transactions until after the vote when uncertainty has lifted.
However, Crest Nicholson chief executive Stephen Stones insisted it was business as usual for the housebuilder.
"Whilst the debate about the forthcoming referendum on UK membership of the European Union continues to dominate the headlines and the board notes the risk of business disruption in the event of a vote to leave, purchaser demand for new homes remains strong," he said.
Crest Nicholson, which raised its interim dividend from 6.4p to 9.1p, added it was on track to record £1bn of revenues by October 2016 and 4,000 homes by the end of 2019, indicating higher income levels in the UK would help "maintain affordability and support a stable housing market".