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

Preliminary Statement for the Year Ended 30 April 2015

ABBEY PLC
Preliminary Statement for the year ended 30 April 2015

The Group reports a profit of €49.1 million before taxation against a profit of €24.1 million in the previous year. After a tax charge of €9.5 million the Group made a profit of €39.6 million reflecting earnings per share of 184.02 cents. Group operating profits during the year were €46.3 million against €20.4 million the previous year.

Dividends of 11 cents per share absorbing €2.4 million were paid during the year.

Our housebuilding operations completed 557 sales (UK 514; Ireland 27, CZK 16) with a turnover of €152.7million generating an operating profit of €42.4 million. Trading in the UK has been buoyant throughout the year. Sales, supported by the government’s ‘Help to Buy’ scheme have continued to be brisk. In particular the recent general election did not dampen activity. Price rises have continued, for the time being, to outstrip rising costs supporting our current firm margins. Forward sales in the new year are in line with our budgets. During the year our UK division increased its land bank to 1,557 plots with planning permission. In Ireland slow but steady progress has been achieved. Our Lucan project was successfully launched in the spring and is progressing well. New projects in Delgany, County Wicklow and Cornelscourt, County Dublin will enter production imminently. Further projects are being actively sought to drive faster recovery. Our projects in Laois and Kildare remain on hold pending some improvement in local demand. For the time being the strong improvement in the housing market remains most apparent in Dublin. In Prague we completed 16 sales and we are able to report a modest contribution. A similar level of activity is likely this year. The construction of our new project near Na Vidouli in Stodulky is progressing well. We plan to start our housing project in Prezletice in the autumn.

At the year end the Group owned and controlled land with the benefit of planning permission for the supply of 2,252 plots.

M & J reported operating profits of €3.0 million on a turnover of €18.8 million. This was an encouraging result. Early trading in the new year is in line with our expectations and we are budgeting for further progress this year.

Rental income during the year was €942,000.

The Group held €67.4 million in cash together with €13.5 million in UK government bonds at the end of the financial year.

The short term outlook is good. The Group is targeting a significant increase in turnover this year and whilst margins may be eroded a satisfactory year is in prospect. The longer term outlook is more uncertain. House prices in the UK now reflect the easy money conditions of the last two years and may struggle to advance rapidly in an environment of rising interest rates and possibly lagging wage growth. Costs impacted by both labour and material supply bottle necks may continue to rise quickly. The sweet spot of the UK cycle is probably behind us. In Ireland the medium term prospects seem brighter, however, the weight of speculative money chasing relatively few opportunities will temper returns. Overall the Group is well placed to make steady progress.

The Board is pleased to recommend a dividend of 7 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 77.69p and 100 cents: CZK 27.58. The balance sheet uses the ratio prevailing on 30 April 2015 of 100 cents: STG 72.89p and 100 cents: CZK 27.42.

On behalf of the Board
CHARLES H GALLAGHER
EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN
7 July 2015

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 2015 can be accessed by clicking on the link below:
Prelim Financials 30 April 2015

The Directors’ report and group financial statements for the year ended 30 April 2015 can be accessed by clicking on the link below:
PLC ANNUAL REPORT 30.04.2015