Housebuilder Abbey almost doubles Irish house sales

Turnover ‘similar to last year’, when it amounted to €216.5m, trading update shows

Abbey chairman Charles Gallagher had said the Dublin-listed company would “probably do 80 plus” Irish sales.

Abbey chairman Charles Gallagher had said the Dublin-listed company would “probably do 80 plus” Irish sales.

 

Housebuilder Abbey almost doubled its Irish house sales last year, the company said in a trading update on Friday.

The listed firm completed 606 house sales for the year ended April 30th, with 75 of these completed in the Republic – up from 39 the year before.

The increase is largely in line with a commitment from Abbey this time last year when the group’s chairman Charles Gallagher told The Irish Times it was aiming to more than double Irish house sales to levels not seen since before the State was bailed out in 2010.

Mr Gallagher had said the Dublin-listed company would “probably do 80 plus” Irish sales.

Abbey also experienced growth in the UK with sales up to 524 from 495 the year before. In the Czech Republic however, sales were down to just seven from 52 the year before.

Group turnover for the year is at similar levels to last year, when it amounted to €216.5 million. This compares to the Davy estimate of €221.6 million.

However, somewhat lower margins mean operating profit will fall short of last year’s return.

The company said forward sales for the group are “satisfactory” and the housing division is on target to build and sell more new homes in the year ahead.

An analyst with Davy said Abbey was trading “along expected lines”. The outlook “remains positive”.

“Abbey’s trading statement looks to be broadly in line with our expectations,” said the analyst. “Lower margins have been flagged, but this was already reflected in our forecasts. The stock continues to screen well versus both UK and Irish housebuilding peers. We estimate net asset value to be circa 1,609 cent per share at end-April, implying that the stock is trading at a discount to book value.”

Abbey will publish its full year results in the week beginning July 9th.