This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014 as it forms part of domestic law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.
Crest Nicholson Holdings plc
(the "Company", the "Group" or "Crest Nicholson")
COMMERCIAL ASSET DISPOSAL
Crest Nicholson Holdings plc today announces it has entered into an agreement to sell the Group's 50% equitable interest in Longcross Studio, a film studio situated on the northern side of Longcross Garden Village and a parcel of associated land on the southern side of the site, to Longcross General Partner Ltd, an Aviva Investors company ('Aviva'). Aviva are the Group's existing joint venture partner for this scheme. The transaction is expected to complete late Summer 2021 subject to satisfying contractual conditions. This transaction supports one of the Group's five strategic priorities which is to utilise and maximise the value of its land portfolio.
We expect our proceeds from this transaction to deliver a one-off contribution in excess of £10m to Adjusted Profit Before Tax for FY21 and the receipt of approximately £45m cash consideration by the end of the financial year.
The Group continues to hold a 50% equitable interest in the remaining 195 acres of Longcross Garden Village in a joint venture with Aviva. This prime site, located in Surrey, is expected to deliver up to 1,700 homes. The scheme is allocated for residential and ancillary development in the adopted Runnymede Borough Council Local Plan. It is intended that Crest Nicholson will develop and complete its share of this site in the future.
Investing for future growth
Significant progress was made in strengthening the Group's balance sheet last year, closing FY20 with £142.2m of net cash. Through a combination of improved working capital management, disciplined capital allocation and the delivery of cost efficiencies we were able to announce the reinstatement of the dividend on a two and a half times cover basis, effective from HY21.
In addition, the Board have developed ambitious plans to grow the business over the medium term and the £45m cash inflow arising from this transaction will allow the Group to accelerate its existing strategy and support these future growth intentions.
The Group will be announcing its half year results for the six months ending 30 April 2021 on Thursday 24 June 2021.
For further information please contact:
Jenny Matthews, Head of Investor Relations +44 (0) 7557 842720
James Macey White/Giles Kernick +44 (0) 20 7353 4200
The person responsible for arranging the release of this announcement on behalf of the Company is Kevin Maguire, General Counsel and Company Secretary.
14 May 2021