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

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The Managing Director of Countryside Properties has left the company after failing to cash in on the UK property boom which fueled the huge profits of his home construction peers.

Countryside shares fell by a quarter on Thursday, making it by far the biggest feller in the FTSE 250 and wiping out £ 700million from its value, after the company revealed the extent of its poor performance.

Adjusted operating profits fell by more than half year-on-year to £ 16.5million and home completions fell by more than a third in the three months to the end of December. In contrast, Persimmon on Thursday reported bumper home sales, up a fifth from pre-pandemic levels in the second half of last year.

Countryside has announced the immediate departure of its chief executive, Iain McPherson, with its chairman, John Martin, replacing until a permanent replacement is appointed.

Martin said, “Trading in the first quarter of our new fiscal year has been below Board expectations. “

He said he would conduct a review process of all Countryside developments to ensure that each site was developed “according to the plans defined during the investment process”.

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As part of the board reshuffle, the company appointed Peter Lee, partner of Browning West – a US-based activist investor who built up an almost 10% stake to become one of the largest shareholders of the company – as a non-executive director.

Countryside also responded to government plans on Thursday to protect tenants from the costs of all security flaws in post-Grenfell buildings, not just combustible cladding.

“[We are] fully supportive of finding an industry-wide solution to benefit tenants, ”the company said. “We are currently working with owners to expedite remediation in cases where historic work on Countryside developments did not meet construction standards.”

McPherson’s departure and poor results capped a scorching year for Countryside.

In September, the competition regulator forced the company to formally commit to releasing thousands of people who have bought leased homes from costly contract terms, causing land rents to double every 10 to 15 years.

Countryside has confirmed that it no longer sells leasehold properties with double rent clauses, following an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority.

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

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