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Annual Results

Abbey profits up

12 July 2016 07:51

Abbey reports a profit of €61.5 million before taxation for the year ended 30 April against a profit of €49.1 million in the previous year.

After a tax charge of €12.0 million the group made a profit of €49.5 million reflecting earnings per share of 229.81 cents. Group operating profits during the year were €60.8 million against €46.3 million the previous year.

Abbey says its housebuilding operations completed 597 sales (UK 544; Ireland 23, CZK 30) with a turnover of €198.6 million generating an operating profit of €56.5 million.

Trading in the UK has been good throughout the year.

Sales, supported by the government's 'Help to Buy' scheme have been consistent. Like last year price rises overall have outstripped rising costs supporting our margins. Forward sales in the new year are in line with our budgets.

The groups says its UK land bank owned or controlled finished the year at 1,498 plots. Since the year end additional land has been acquired and the company continues to seek further opportunities.

In Ireland gradual progress can be reported. Its project in Lucan is moving towards completion. Its development in Delgany was successfully launched in June. More land has been bought in Ratoath, County Meath and Cornelscourt, County Dublin and both these schemes are now under construction.

The group says projects in Laois and Kildare remain on hold pending improvement in local demand. Effective demand for new home ownership in many parts of the wider Dublin metropolitan area remains muted.

In Prague it completed 30 sales and are pleased to report a useful contribution to our results. It says work is well advanced on its project in Na Vidouli and is progressing in Prezletice. Its new scheme of apartments has commenced in Tetinska. At the year end the group owned and controlled land with the benefit of planning permission for the supply of 2,090 plots. M & J reported operating profits of €3.3 million on a turnover of €21.0 million. Business has continued at a fair level into the new year. Competitive pressure remains intense and good cost control is essential. Another steady year is in prospect.

An update says: "Trading in the early part of the new year has been encouraging and the Group has set budgets for the year showing increased activity across the business, however, the outlook is now clouded by Brexit. 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.

"A prolonged period of gradual relative decline for London and South East England is possible if the withdrawal of London from its role in Europe is carried through. In Ireland, still recovering from last decade's financial crisis prospects seem brighter, however, Brexit casts a considerable shadow. The Group is, with its strong balance sheet, well placed to cope with the uncertainty and hopes to continue to making steady progress. The impact of Brexit will emerge over future reporting periods but there is no doubt that the Referendum outcome is a material short term negative shock."

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