Countryside chief executive Graham Cherry has discounted speculation that the low valuation of housebuilders on the stock exchange might prompt his company to go private.
He said: “The rating of the sector is very low, which is unfortunate considering the good results produced across the board. But if we keep good profits up I’m sure the City will eventually realise the growth and opportunities the sector presents.”
Cherry made his comments as Countryside unveiled healthy interim results for the six months to 31 March. Turnover rose 22% to £134.3m compared with the same period a year ago. Pre-tax profit was up 35% to £10.3m.
Countryside sold 312 private houses in the six-month period, down from 380. But its average selling price rose from £148 000 to £231 000. Cherry said the switch to higher-value properties would continue.
The social housing division had turnover of £37.6m, up 8.5% from last year. Pre-tax profit remained at £1.1m, the same as last year. Cherry was optimistic about the firm’s co-development role on the troubled Greenwich Millennium Village. He said: “We’ve got a list of 4500 applicants interested in buying homes.”