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

Preliminary Results

ABBEY PLC
Preliminary Statement for the year ended 30 April 2018

The Group reports a profit of €58.6 million before taxation against a profit of €63.5 million in the previous year. After a tax charge of €9.7 million the Group made a profit of €48.9 million reflecting earnings per share of 228.22 cents. Group operating profits during the year were €58.5 million against €60.8 million the previous year.
Dividends of 17 cents per share absorbing €3.6 million were paid during the year.

Our housebuilding operations completed 606 sales (UK 524; Ireland 75, CZK 7) with a turnover of €197.8 million generating an operating profit of €54.3 million. Trading in the UK has been reasonably consistent over the period. Sales have been steady throughout. Margins have been maintained at good levels albeit somewhat lower than last year. Margins subject to market conditions will likely continue to at least gradually fall back from their recent elevated levels. Forward sales are healthy and recent activity has been normal for this time of year. Production is a high priority and tight markets for labour and materials are a significant constraint. The UK land bank was maintained in excess of 2,000 plots and is a firm foundation for a rise in output this year.

In Ireland our projects in Ratoath and Cabinteely made good contributions to our results. Further growth is being actively pursued with new projects in Navan being brought into production. Plans are well advanced for the resumption of our developments in Laois when conditions allow. ‘Help to Buy’ is a key factor supporting the steadily rising level of activity. During the year sites in Dublin, Meath and Waterford were added to our landbank.

In Czechia we sold our land in Lučištníků and were able to report a surplus of €2.2m over its written down value. Our project in Tetínská is now building complete and is 70% forward sold. Our development in Přezletice is progressing and the first homes have been occupied. Since the year end a project in excess of 150 plots has been secured in Horoměřice, northwest of Prague.

At the year end the Group owned and controlled land allocated for housing development for the supply of 3,164 plots.

M & J reported operating profits of €3.0 million on a turnover of €19.5 million. Trading has been satisfactory over the period. The stable environment has supported the continuous renewal and upgrading of our rental fleet allowing the maintaining of market share in very competitive conditions. The early weeks of the new trading year are consistent with another reasonable result.

Rental income during the year was €1.2m.

The Group held €78.9 million in cash at the end of the financial year. On the balance sheet date commitments outstanding on land were €42.1 million.

The Group is currently on course for another satisfactory year. Some growth in activity is being targeted across all our businesses. The level of uncertainty with which we have to cope, continues to rise. By this time next year the UK will likely be outside of the EU and facing a higher risk premium on all UK investments. A disruptive Brexit will also impact unfavourably on the remaining 27. The Group backed by its strong balance sheet will continue to invest to meet the need for new homes in all its markets.

The Board is pleased to recommend a dividend of 10 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 88.41p and 100 cents: CZK 25.81. The balance sheet uses the ratio prevailing on 30 April 2018 of 100 cents: STG 87.70p and 100 cents: CZK 25.55.

On behalf of the Board
CHARLES H GALLAGHER
EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN
11th July 2018

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

The Preliminary Results financial statements for the year ended 30 April 2018 can be accessed by clicking on the link below:
Prelim 11 July 2018 Financials

The Directors’ Report and Group Financial Statements for the year ended 30 April 2018 can be accessed by clicking on the link below:
Directors Report & Financial Statements 2018