Countryside Properties Profit And Revenue Falls

Countryside Properties PLC said its first-half profit and revenue have fallen as the company prepares to raise £150 million (U.S. $198 million) through a rights issue to fund development in Scotland and England.

Profit before tax was £28.5 million in the six months through March 31, down from £38.1 million in the same period a year earlier. Revenue was £70.9 million, compared with £96.5 million.

UK-based Countryside, which owns over 10,000 homes across the country, raised its half-year dividend by 5.9 per cent to 2.10 pence per share.

Chief executive Ian Sutcliffe said: “Our operation in the South-East continues to make positive progress. Following significant reductions in unit costs and operating expenses, we generated an 8.2 per cent year-on-year increase in gross profit.

“However, Group performance was heavily impacted by the transition in Scotland where we focused on accelerating sales in the second half of the financial year and on rationalising our land bank following the closure of Harrogate, Castle Moray and Bearsden over the summer of 2017.”

The rights issue means investors will receive seven new shares for every four they own at an issue price of 159 pence a share.

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