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Crest Nicholson warns of lower profit, says CFO to leave

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By Reuters

(Reuters) – Housebuilder Crest Nicholson Holdings on Wednesday warned of lower full-year profit, citing challenges in the real-estate market, and said Chief Financial Officer Robert Allen stepped down.

The company forecast pretax profit for the year ending Oct. 31 to be 170 million pounds to 190 million pounds. Crest Nicholson reported a pretax profit of 207 million pounds in 2017.

“The usual Autumn pick up in sales volumes has not been evident during September and October, with many customers putting off decisions to buy whilst current political and economic uncertainties persist,” Executive Chairman Stephen Stone said in a statement.

Downward pricing pressures, cost inflation and low reservation levels in London also led Crest Nicholson to slash its forecast for full-year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation (EBITD) margin.

Rising interest rates and inflationary pressures are eroding house prices and commercial space values in the UK ahead of Britain’s exit from the European Union.

The company said CEO Patrick Bergin will take on the responsibilities of the finance function until a new CFO is appointed.

(Reporting by Karina Dsouza in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri and Gopakumar Warrier)