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

Preliminary Statement

ABBEY PLC
Preliminary Statement for the year ended 30 April 2014

The Group reports a profit of €24.1 million before taxation against a profit of €11.3 million in the previous year. After a tax charge of €5.3m the Group made a profit of €18.7m reflecting earnings per share of 87.04 cents. Group operating profits during the year were €20.4m against €8.3m the previous year.

Dividends of 9 cents per share absorbing €1.9m were paid during the year.

Our housebuilding operations completed 390 sales (UK 353; Ireland 22, CZK 15) with a turnover of €99.3 million generating an operating profit of €18.2 million. Trading in the UK was good during the period. Sales, supported by the government’s ‘Help to Buy’ Scheme, were buoyant. Price increases moderated by increasing building costs supported our margins. The current year has continued in the same vein and our forward sales position is underpinning our planned growth this year. At the year end the UK division owned and controlled land with the benefit of planning permission for 1,320 plots. Terms have been agreed for further land acquisitions. In Ireland the re-launch of our business has gone well. Our project in Shankill is sold out. The first phase on our project in Stocking Wood is fully reserved. Further projects are planned, in particular a very attractive site in Delgany, Co. Wicklow for upwards of 30 houses was acquired at the turn of the year. Improving confidence is evident across the market. A further impairment charge of €0.2m was recognised to take account of the withering of planning permission and subsequent de-zoning for development of land held at Mountmellick. In Prague we completed 15 sales and we are able to report a modest contribution. Some progress is being made and a new project in Stodulky will be launched this year. Sales at a gradual but steady rate are continuing at our well regarded Slivenec project.

At the year end the Group owned and controlled land with the benefit of planning permission for the supply of 1,858 plots.

M & J reported operating profits of €1,355,000 on a turnover of €14.0 million. Improvement in the second half of the financial year has continued into the first weeks of the new year with like for like turnover now significantly ahead of last year. This increase in turnover is being supported by expanded investment in new equipment.

Rental income during the year was €844,000.

The Group held €30.5m in cash together with €22.4 million in UK government bonds at the end of the financial year.

The outlook for the current year is encouraging. The Group is budgeting for a significant increase in activity. The UK housing market has been active over the last 12 months and we together with the industry as a whole are working hard to increase production. It is a cause of concern that supply chain bottle necks both in labour and materials have emerged so quickly. Recent reports of declining mortgage approvals are a warning that sufficient credit may not be available to support a more normal level of output. Rising interest rates in the new year are likely. In short considerable uncertainty clouds the medium term outlook, but the recent welcome improvement in trading conditions will hopefully be maintained for some months ahead.

The Board is pleased to recommend a dividend of 6 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 84.14p and 100 cents: CZK 26.57. The balance sheet uses the ratio prevailing on 30 April 2014 of 100 cents: STG 82.11p and 100 cents: CZK 27.46.

On behalf of the Board
CHARLES H GALLAGHER
EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN
9 July 2014


Contact:
Davy Corporate Finance (Nominated Adviser and ESM Adviser)
Eugenée Mulhern/Brian Garrahy
Tel:+ 353 1 679 6363

The Preliminary Results Financial Statements for the year ended 30 April 2014 can be accessed by clicking on the link below:

Prelim financials (30.04.2014) FINAL 09.07.2014

The Directors’ Report and Group Financial Statements for the year ended 30 April 2014 can be accessed by clicking on the link below:

PLC CONSOL IFRS 30.04.2014 (FINAL B&W) 09.07.2014)