Profits at housebuilder Abbey down 10%
Company says UK market encouraging but trading in Irish and Czech markets remains difficult
Pre-tax profits at housebuilder Abbey fell by 10 per cent in the year to April as difficulties continued in the Irish and Czech property markets. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.
Abbey recorded a profit of €10.9 million on revenues of €98.5 million and generated earnings per share of 34.5 cent.
The group said it booked an impairment charge of €3.5 million against property land and work in progress.
Abbey said trading in the UK had been encouraging during the year, with 322 of its 368 sales completed there. The Irish and Czech markets remained stagnant, with 35 and 11 sales respectively.
The company said UK business in May and June had been solid and that it was hopeful a “help to buy” scheme would buoy sales throughout the year.
Abbey said the re-launch of its Irish business was “now firmly underway” and that contracts had been exchanged for a project involving 25 homes in South Co Dublin.
At the year end, the group owned and controlled land with the benefit of planning permission for the supply of 1,871 plots. It held €34 million in cash and restricted cash together with €40.9 million in UK government bonds at the end of April.
The board has recommended a dividend of 5 cent per share, which will require approval at the group’s Annual General Meeting.
“The outlook for the current year is for broadly similar levels of activity to be maintained. The gradual expansion of the UK land bank together with recent land acquisitions is laying the basis for faster turnover growth in the years ahead,” Abbey said.
“The overall weakness of general economic activity in our operating regions will continue to be the framework against which our prospects must be assessed.”