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Countryside Properties CEO leaves as extent of poor results revealed | Construction industry

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The chief govt of Countryside Properties has left the corporate after it did not money in on the UK property growth that has fuelled the massive earnings at its housebuilding friends.

Shares in Countryside have been down by 1 / 4 on Thursday, making it the most important FTSE 250 faller by a ways and wiping £700m off its worth, after the corporate revealed the extent of its poor efficiency.

Adjusted working earnings greater than halved 12 months on 12 months to £16.5m and housing completions fell by greater than a 3rd within the three months to the top of December. In distinction, Persimmon on Thursday reported bumper home gross sales, up a fifth on pre-pandemic ranges within the second half of final 12 months.

Countryside introduced the fast departure of its chief govt, Iain McPherson, with its chair, John Martin, standing in till a everlasting substitute is appointed.

Martin mentioned: “Trading in the first quarter of our new financial year has been below the board’s expectations.”

He mentioned he would conduct a assessment means of all of Countryside’s developments to make sure that every web site was being developed “in accordance with the plans set out during the investment process”.

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As a part of the boardroom reshuffle the corporate has appointed Peter Lee, a accomplice at Browning West – a US-based activist investor that has constructed up an nearly 10% stake to turn into one of many firm’s greatest shareholders – as a non-executive director.

Countryside additionally responded on Thursday to authorities plans to protect leaseholders from the costs of all post-Grenfell building safety defects, not simply flamable cladding.

“[We are] fully supportive of finding an industry-wide solution for the benefit of leaseholders,” the corporate mentioned. “We are currently working with landlords to expedite remediation in cases where the historic work on Countryside developments did not meet building standards.”

The departure of McPherson and poor outcomes cap a torrid 12 months for Countryside.

In September, the competitors regulator pressured the corporate to present formal commitments to free thousands of people who bought leasehold homes from costly contract terms ensuing within the doubling of floor lease charges each 10 to fifteen years.

Countryside has confirmed it now not sells leasehold properties with doubling-ground lease clauses, following the investigation by the Competitors and Markets Authority.

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