Level 2

FTSE 250 movers: FirstGroup surges; Crest Nicholson down on rate warning

By Frank Prenesti

Date: Thursday 08 Jun 2023

(Sharecast News) - Shares in house builder Crest Nicholson slumped on Thursday as the company warned that more interest rate rises would hit the property market, after it posted a slump in half-year profits.

The company called on the government to help people struggling to get on the market due to higher mortgage costs and the cost-of-living crisis as lenders also pull loan deals.

Pre-tax profit for the six months to April 30 fell 60% to £21m. Shares in the firm were down almost 10% in London trade.

Analysts expect the Bank of England to lift rates again, after a smaller-than-expected fall in the April inflation rate saw lenders withdraw of increase mortgage prices.

If interest rates continued to remain elevated for a sustained period of time, it would make market conditions worse and would impact demand and confidence again, said Crest Nicholson chief executive.

"The ongoing lack of housing supply is continuing to support house prices and these factors are also driving strong levels of rental inflation," he said.

"The economic case for buying a home therefore remains compelling, but for many first time buyers the higher cost of borrowing and the cessation of Help to Buy are prohibitive to realising this ambition."

"We continue to call on government to recognise this challenge and provide further support to these potential homeowners."

Dr Martens fell as the stock traded without entitlement to the dividend.

Budget airline Wizz Air gave up gains to be lower despite saying it expected to post a net profit this year after posting a net annual loss due to higher fuel prices and the war in Ukraine.

FirstGroup surged after the transport operator reported a better-than-expected full-year operating profit and extended its buyback programme.

FTSE 250 - Risers

FirstGroup (FGP) 135.50p 14.15%
TI Fluid Systems (TIFS) 134.20p 4.03%
Clarkson (CKN) 3,085.00p 3.70%
Digital 9 Infrastructure NPV (DGI9) 65.80p 2.97%
National Express Group (NEX) 115.70p 2.94%
Investec (INVP) 460.20p 2.79%
Apax Global Alpha Limited (APAX) 168.40p 2.68%
Ruffer Investment Company Ltd Red PTG Pref Shares (RICA) 284.50p 2.52%
PureTech Health (PRTC) 240.50p 1.91%
Kainos Group (KNOS) 1,293.00p 1.81%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 225.80p -9.46%
Dr. Martens (DOCS) 126.80p -5.44%
Morgan Advanced Materials (MGAM) 282.00p -3.92%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 763.00p -3.66%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 25.76p -3.23%
Hammerson (HMSO) 25.98p -3.13%
Bytes Technology Group (BYIT) 522.00p -3.06%
Auction Technology Group (ATG) 724.00p -2.82%
Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 2,700.00p -2.81%
Great Portland Estates (GPE) 488.00p -2.59%


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