Monday 23 April 2018

Outlook 'encouraging' for Abbey as house builder posts profits of €7.65m

UK, England, Somerset, Bath, cityscape
UK, England, Somerset, Bath, cityscape
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

LISTED home builder Abbey has reported a pre-tax profit of €7.65m for the six months to the end of October.

That’s an improvement on the corresponding period last year, at €5.95m.

In an interim statement the company, whose registered office is in Dublin, said that its house building division completed 163 sales, including 156 in the UK, four in Ireland and three in the Czech Republic with a turnover of €39.86m.

This resulted in an operating profit of €5.3m.

It said the immediate outlook was “encouraging”.

“In Dublin prices and activity have improved from very low levels.  In Britain and Ireland competition for new land opportunities is fierce and cost pressures are increasing steadily,” the company said.

“Overall the Group is hopeful of a good outcome for the year.”

Abbey’s main activities are residential housing development in the UK, Ireland and Prague.

The company said trading in the UK was good over the period. 

Turnover, average sales prices and margins improved over the corresponding period last year. 

Sales supported by the UK government's 'Help to Buy' schemes continued strongly into the autumn. 

Here in Ireland its project in Kilcoole is now completed, the statement said.

Projects in Shankill and Rathfarnham are under way and advance sales in Shankill have “gone well”.

It said the project in Rathfarnham will come to the market in the spring. 

“Overall further progress in all regions should underpin the second half. During the period 425 plots were added to the land bank.”

The Group maintained strong cash flow during the period and held €27.88m in cash and restricted cash together with €32.83m in UK government debt at the end of October, it said.

The Board declared a dividend of 4 cents per share which together with the 5 cents approved at the Annual General Meeting in October makes a total of 9 cents for the financial year.

 The dividend will be paid on at the end of April to shareholders on the register at 4 April next.

Stockbrokers Davy said the results were line with expectations, with the UK dirving most of the growth in earnings.

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