Countryside Properties makes progressing with separation of two divisions

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Countryside Properties PLC (LON:CSP) has reported a drop in its net reservation rate but an increase in average selling prices for the first quarter of its financial year.

The FTSE 250 group, which slumped to a loss in its last full year, said it expects to have completed a full internal reorganisation into two distinct parts by the end of March to prepare to split its housebuilding and social housing arm into separate businesses.

There were 1,280 house completions in the three months to end-December, up 17% on the same period last year, with a private average selling price of £404,000 up from £394,000 a year earlier.

A net reservation rate of 0.53 per open outlet per week was down from 0.78 in the preceding quarter and 0.81 a year ago, with all construction sites remaining open and further growth in the number of open outlets anticipated in the second quarter.

Orders stood at £1.3bn, down from £1.4bn at the end of the prior financial year after a rush of private completions.

“We have entered the new financial year with a strong forward sales position which underpins our guidance for FY21,” said chief executive Iain McPherson in a statement.

“We continue to win new business as we progress our accelerated growth strategy. The plans set out last summer for regional expansion are on track and we are progressing the separation of our two divisions.”

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