Abbey plc: New Homes, Property Developers, Construction, Builders

Preliminary Statement 2012


ABBEY PLC
Preliminary Statement for the year ended 30 April 2012

The Board of Abbey plc reports a profit of €12.1 million before taxation against a profit of €11.5 million in the previous year. After a tax charge of €3.2. million the Group made a profit of €8.9 million reflecting earnings per share of 39.94 cents. Group operating profits during the year were €9.1 million against profits of €9.4 million in the previous year. The result includes an impairment charge of €1.3 million against property land and work in progress arising from the continuing difficult Irish market.

Dividends of 8 cents per share, absorbing €1.8 million were paid during the year. Further to the authority granted at the Extraordinary General Meeting on 17 November 2010 the company has purchased for cancellation 1,386,914 ordinary shares at a total cost of €7,313,000. Since the year end a further 65,000 shares were purchased for cancellation at a cost of €394,877. The authority granted in November 2010 to purchase back shares expired on 31 May 2012.

Our housebuilding operations completed 310 sales (UK 255; Ireland 37, CZK 18) with a turnover of €57.8 million generating an operating profit of €8.3 million. Trading in the UK continued to be tough with some discounts needed to maintain reasonable volumes. Margins, as in the previous year were supported by the keen prices achieved for building work. The current year has commenced in a similar vein. Prices across our operating area continue to be under pressure. The continuing recession with its impact on incomes and employment is a negative backdrop to the market. In Ireland significant progress has been made in clearing inventory. Land and work in progress now represents less than €5.4 million. Our project in Kilcoole has sold steadily and will probably be concluded this year. In Laois the lack of mortgages has meant we have chosen to rent a significant number of properties pending their sale. In Prague we completed 18 sales and continue to struggle. Rising legal and planning costs have pushed us into loss. As in Ireland we are resorting to renting some properties pending their sale. The bulk of the Division’s slow moving stock is now held in Prague. Overall the Division is gradually making progress in spite of the difficult environment. Turnover is budgeted to increase this year as our planned recovery in the UK gains traction.

At the year end the Group owned and controlled land with the benefit of planning permission for the supply of 1,852 plots. Of these plots 999 were located in England.

M & J reported operating profits of €302,000 on a turnover of €12.0 million. Overall this is a similar result to last year. In recent weeks trading on a year on year basis has seen a fair improvement and we are budgeting for a stronger contribution to the Group this year.

Rental income during the year was €549,000.

The Group benefits from strong liquidity and held €20.2 million in cash and restricted cash together with €50.0 million in UK government bonds at the end of April.

During the year a full actuarial valuation as at 1 May 2011 of the UK Defined Benefit Pension Scheme was completed. A deficit of €905,000 was reported and the Group made additional contributions during the year to 30 April 2012 of €990,000 to eliminate this deficit. Shareholders should note that this deficit is at a significant variance with the pension surplus shown on our balance sheet as prepared under the requirements of IAS 19 ‘Employee Benefits’.

The outlook for the year ahead is for significant growth in turnover as the UK business responds to increased investment. Increased turnover however, is unlikely to be matched by a similar increase in profits as margins are traded to secure some sales growth. Competition for profitable land opportunities is intense. The external environment remains very uncertain and further setbacks cannot be discounted, however, all things being equal the Group’s plans are on track.

The Board is pleased to recommend a dividend of 5 cents per share for approval at the Annual General Meeting.

Shareholders should carefully note the exchange rates used for this statement. The income statement uses the average exchange rate for the year of 100 cents:- STG 85.58p and 100 cents: CZK 24.82. The balance sheet uses the ratio prevailing on 30 April 2012 of 100 cents:- STG 81.50p and 100 cents: CZK 24.93.

On behalf of the Board
CHARLES H GALLAGHER
CHAIRMAN
10 July 2012

The Preliminary Results financial statements for the year ending 30 April 2012 can be accessed by clicking on the link below:

Preliminary Results Financial Statements

The Directors’ Report and Group Financial Statements For the Year Ended 30 April 2012 can be assessed by clicking on the link below:

Abbey plc Directors’ Report & Financial Statements 30.04.2012