HOUSEBUILDER Crest Nicholson has reported a 40% rise in pre-tax profits to pound(s)86.8 million in the year it returned to the stock market. It completed the sale of 2172 houses in the 12 months to October 31 last year, an improvement of 15% on the previous financial year. The company, which was once taken private by Sir Tom Hunter and Bank of Scotland , took almost 600 reservations under the 'Help to Buy' scheme. The improved confidence around the housing market also helped to boost its outlook. Shares closed up 2.8p, or 1%, at 355p.
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