News story published on 15 May 2017
We are pleased to report that credit agency, Standard and Poor’s Global Ratings (S&P) have affirmed their rating of our company at A+, and our outlook as stable.
The S&P report noted our robust overall business plan, strong management team and our management of risk. It also highlighted that the geographical areas we have chosen to expand into, benefit from a strong housing market. Our key decision to focus on the dynamic wider housing areas in the East of England has translated into high demand for housing and low vacancy rates for our properties.
The report recognised that we have responded positively to welfare reform, and acknowledged our strong and proactive approach to the roll-out of Universal Credit.
S&P also stated that our choice of shared ownership and our strong sales performance in this area mitigate many of the risks of non-traditional activities increasingly being embarked upon by other housing associations.
The report states: “The ratings on Cross Keys Homes Ltd. benefit from high housing demand in the company's areas of operation, its high margins, and its controlled debt…We are therefore affirming our 'A+' long-term rating on CKH. The stable outlook reflects our expectation that CKH will maintain strong profitability and increase debt only modestly over the next two years, by not exceeding the level of exposure to non-traditional activities that we currently anticipate in our base case.”
Claire Higgins, Chief Executive, said: “It really is fantastic news that S&P have affirmed their rating of us. It is testament to the hard work of my team in driving efficiencies across the company, as well as being aware of, and reacting quickly to, risk. What is most thrilling is that we are still able to continue to increase our development programme and so deliver the homes that are so desperately needed across the region. Despite the challenges we continue to face I am confident that we can keep building homes and still deliver the excellent services our tenants and customers expect and need.”