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UK's Crest Nicholson cuts profit forecast amid weak housing demand

Adds sector context in paragraphs 2 and 3, details on forward sales in paragraph 4

Nov 16 (Reuters) - Crest Nicholson CRST.L on Thursday became the latest British homebuilder to flag weakening demand in the sector as it lowered its annual profit expectations for the second time in four months.

The company, which in August cut annual earnings forecast by 32% to around 50 million pounds, said it now expects adjusted profit before tax in the range of 45 million pounds to 50 million pounds.

Crest Nicholson's trading update mirrored bigger peers Barratt BDEV.L, Taylor Wimpey TW.L and Persimmon PSN.L, all of whom have pointed to a tough market over the next few months.

Chertsey, UK-based Crest Nicholson said forward sales - an industry measure which gauges near-term demand - declined 22% year on year to 408.5 million pounds ($505.7 million) as of Nov. 10.

The FTSE midcap company said as part of a review of its operations, it would "moderate the pace of growth" in its Yorkshire division and would align headcount to the expected level of output in 2024 fiscal year.

In August, the group said that it would be reducing overheads for the current fiscal year started Nov. 1.

($1 = 0.8078 pounds)

(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K and Nivedita Bhattacharjee)

((abyjose.koilparambil@thomsonreuters.com))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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