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

Preliminary Statement

ABBEY PLC
Preliminary Statement for the year ended 30 April 2016

The Group reports a profit of €61.5 million before taxation against a profit of €49.1 million in the previous year. After a tax charge of €12.0 million the Group made a profit of €49.5 million reflecting earnings per share of 229.81 cents. Group operating profits during the year were €60.8 million against €46.3 million the previous year.

Dividends of 13 cents per share absorbing €2.8 million were paid during the year.

Our housebuilding operations completed 597 sales (UK 544; Ireland 23, CZK 30) with a turnover of €198.6 million generating an operating profit of €56.5 million. Trading in the UK has been good throughout the year. Sales, supported by the government’s ‘Help to Buy’ scheme have been consistent. Like last year price rises overall have outstripped rising costs supporting our margins. Forward sales in the new year are in line with our budgets. Our UK land bank owned or controlled finished the year at 1,498 plots. Since the year end additional land has been acquired and the company continues to seek further opportunities. In Ireland gradual progress can be reported. Our project in Lucan is moving towards completion. Our development in Delgany was successfully launched in June. More land has been bought in Ratoath, County Meath and Cornelscourt, County Dublin and both these schemes are now under construction. Our projects in Laois and Kildare remain on hold pending improvement in local demand. Effective demand for new home ownership in many parts of the wider Dublin metropolitan area remains muted. In Prague we completed 30 sales and are pleased to report a useful contribution to our results. Work is well advanced on our project in Na Vidouli and is progressing in Prezletice. Our new scheme of apartments has commenced in Tetinska.

At the year end the Group owned and controlled land with the benefit of planning permission for the supply of 2,090 plots.

M & J reported operating profits of €3.3 million on a turnover of €21.0 million. Business has continued at a fair level into the new year. Competitive pressure remains intense and good cost control is essential. Another steady year is in prospect.

Rental income during the year was €984,000.

The Group held €90.4 million in cash together with €12.7 million in UK government bonds at the end of the financial year.

Trading in the early part of the new year has been encouraging and the Group has set budgets for the year showing increased activity across the business, however, the outlook is now clouded by Brexit. A slowdown in the UK economy is now being forecast and in particular a correction in the housing market after its strong performance in recent years. Prospects for the short, medium and long term are now very unclear. A prolonged period of gradual relative decline for London and South East England is possible if the withdrawal of London from its role in Europe is carried through. In Ireland, still recovering from last decade’s financial crisis prospects seem brighter, however, Brexit casts a considerable shadow. The Group is, with its strong balance sheet, well placed to cope with the uncertainty and hopes to continue to making steady progress. The impact of Brexit will emerge over future reporting periods but there is no doubt that the Referendum outcome is a material short term negative shock.

The Board is pleased to recommend a dividend of 8 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 73.85p and 100 cents: CZK 27.12. The balance sheet uses the ratio prevailing on 30 April 2016 of 100 cents: STG 78.18p and 100 cents: CZK 27.04.

On behalf of the Board
CHARLES H GALLAGHER
EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN
12th July 2016

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 2016 can be assessed by clicking on the link below:

Prelim 12 July 2016 Financials

The Directors’ Report and Group financial statements for the year ended 30 April 2016 can be assessed by clicking on the link below:

PLC CONSOL IFRS 30.04.2016