Sunday 18 August 2019

Countryside confident after solid first half

Boss Ian Sutcliffe is in bullish mood.

Countryside has unveiled robust figures despite Brexit uncertainty (Joe Giddens/PA)
Countryside has unveiled robust figures despite Brexit uncertainty (Joe Giddens/PA)

By Ravender Sembhy, Press Association City Editor

Housebuilder Countryside has posted solid set of first half figures, undeterred by the gloom stalking the housing market.

The firm said it completed 2,362 homes in the six months to March 31, up 43%, as customer demand remained firm.

Countryside saw average selling prices fall 4% to £377,000, which it put down to an increased contribution from the company’s regional businesses.

The company’s order book grew 49% to £1.04 billion.

Several housebuilders have flagged that Brexit and the political uncertainty that it has wrought is hitting the property market, particularly in London.

But Countryside boss Ian Sutcliffe said on Tuesday: “Despite the wider political and macroeconomic uncertainty, demand for mixed-tenure homes remains strong and we have enjoyed a robust spring selling season.

“With our modular timber frame factory now operational, we continue to be well positioned to deliver on our geographic expansion. With excellent visibility of future work, we remain confident of delivering our medium-term growth plans.”

Last year, Countryside bought rival housebuilder Westleigh for £135.4 million, with the deal to pave the way for further growth in its partnerships division, which focuses on urban regeneration of public sector land.

Shares rose over 5% to 336p in morning trading as the group also said it remains on track to meet full year expectations.

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