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Profits fall at listed home builder Abbey as Covid impacts performance


Stock image / PA

Stock image / PA

Stock image / PA

Listed home builder Abbey saw its profit before tax fall to €33m in the 12 months to April 30 from €53m the prior year.

The 83-year-old building company said trading in the three months to April 30 was “significantly impacted” by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In this context the overall results were satisfactory,” Abbey said in its annual results.

Turnover from house-building operations was €162.7m, generating an operating profit of €31.3m.

In Ireland, where Abbey sold 57 homes during its financial year, the company ended the year with a “strong” forward sales position.

Sales completions will rise “significantly” here this year, with work well advanced on two projects in Navan and another in Portlaoise.

Elsewhere, Abbey said its “substantial” new project in Oranmore county Galway will be underway in the first half of its financial year.

Meanwhile, further projects are in the planning process.

In the UK, where the company completed 405 sales of homes over the 12 months, production and sales activity resumed at reduced levels in May following Covid-19 disruption.

Abbey said sales have held up well there, supported by the 'Help to Buy' programme. It added that all new projects which had been placed on hold are planned to start before the end of October.

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However, it said budgeting this year is more difficult and the delayed start to new projects will result in lower than previously planned completions.

Abbey, which also has a plant hire division, warned its performance in the UK this year will critically depend on confidence and employment levels in the wider economy.

At the year end the group owned and controlled land allocated for housing development for the supply of 2,947 plots.

Abbey held €70.8m in cash at the end of the financial year.

The group said that in light of the current crisis it would not be recommending a dividend.

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