Thursday 22 March 2018

Abbey sees 'gradual progress' in Irish market but UK a worry

Abbey executive chairman Charles Gallagher
Abbey executive chairman Charles Gallagher
Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

Housebuilder Abbey has reported gradual progress in the Irish market as profits last year jumped to €61.5m from €49.1m in the previous year.

But the company remains sceptical about its future prospects in the UK housing market and didn't rule out a long period of gradual decline in London.

"A slowdown in the UK economy is now being forecast and in particular a correction in the housing market after its strong performance in recent years. Prospects for the short, medium and long term are now very unclear," the company said .

Abbey said its project in Lucan is nearing completion while it also launched a new development in Delgany in June. The company also spent the year buying up land in Rotoath, Meath, and Cornelscourt, Dublin - both schemes are now under construction.

The company said that demand for new home ownership in many parts of the wider Dublin area "remains muted".

Overall the firm concluded 597 sales groupwide - 23 in Ireland - bringing in a total turnover of €198.6m. Abbey has set out a dividend of 8c per share for approval at the agm.

At the end of the year Abbey had €90.4m in cash and €12.7m in Government bonds. Rental income for the year was €984,000. Goodbody analyst Eamonn Hughes said trading in the early part of the year has been "encouraging". Shares in Abbey were up 4.66pc at 2pm on Tuesday at £10.44 (€12.38).

Irish Independent

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