INTERIM STATEMENT FOR THE SIX MONTHS ENDED 31 OCTOBER 2013
The Board of Abbey plc reports a profit before taxation of €7.65m which compares with a profit of €5.95m for the corresponding period last year. Profits at the operating level were €6.32m as compared to €4.14m at the half way stage last year.
Our housebuilding division completed 163 sales (UK 156; Ireland 4; Czech Republic 3) with a turnover of €39.86m resulting in an operating profit of €5.30m. Trading in the UK was good over the period. Our turnover, average sales prices and margins improved over the corresponding period last year. Sales supported by the UK government’s ‘Help to Buy’ schemes have continued strongly into the autumn. In Ireland our project in Kilcoole is now completed. Our new projects in Shankill and Rathfarnham are under way. Advance sales in Shankill have gone well. Our project in Rathfarnham will come to the market in the spring. In Prague sales continue to be slow, however some progress is being made and a stronger second half is in prospect. Overall further progress in all regions should underpin the second half. During the period 425 plots were added to the land bank.
M & J Engineers, our UK plant hire business, generated operating profits of €638,000 on a turnover of €6.89m. This was slightly behind last year, however, trade in recent weeks is improving and activity levels are now running ahead of last year.
Rental income for the period amounted to €390,000.
The Group maintained strong cash flow during the period and held €27.88m in cash and restricted cash together with €32.83m in UK government debt at the end of October.
The Board is pleased to declare a dividend of 4 cents per share which together with the 5 cents approved at the Annual General Meeting in October will make a total of 9 cents for the financial year. The dividend will be paid on 30 April 2014 to shareholders on the register at 4 April 2014.
Shareholders should carefully note the exchange rates used for this statement. The income statement uses the average exchange rate for the period of 100 cents: STG 85.19p and 100 cents: CZK 25.81 The balance sheet uses the rate prevailing on 31 October 2013 of 100 cents: STG 84.61 and 100 cents: CZK 25.78.
The immediate outlook is encouraging. The housing market in South East England has been healthy over recent months and we are planning increased activity in the year ahead. In Dublin prices and activity have improved from very low levels. In Britain and Ireland competition for new land opportunities is fierce and cost pressures are increasing steadily. Overall the Group is hopeful of a good outcome for the year.
Copies of this statement are available to shareholders and members of the public at the company’s registered office, 25\28 North Wall Quay, Dublin 1.
On behalf of the Board
Charles H Gallagher – Chairman
6th December 2013
The interim Results for the six months ended 31 October 2013 can be accessed by clicking on the following link: