Housebuilder Crest Nicholson back to profit and FTSE
The 50-year-old company posted annual pre-tax profit of 62.1 million pounds, compared to a 27 million-pound loss in 2011, and said it would sell new and existing shares on the London stock exchange to raise about 50 million pounds ($79 million) and pay down debt.
"Our announcement today is just a sign that the housing market recovery is starting to move forward. There's a lot of interest in the sector and a lot of interest from government in increasing housing volumes in this country," Chief Executive Stephen Stone told Reuters.
The company said it expected a minimum of 35 percent of its shares to be free float following the offer.
Crest Nicholson, one of Britain's biggest housebuilders, was hit hard by the slump in the UK housing market after years of easy credit inflated prices.
It and rivals like Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Developments have since focused their building efforts in the south of England and London, where house prices stayed strong in comparison to the north of the country. Taylor Wimpey and Barrett said last week that they expect to post significant profit rises for the full year.
The sector has also been helped by government schemes to boost buyer demand and loosen mortgage lending. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors showed British house prices held steady in December and are
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