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

Preliminary Statement for the year ended 30 April 2020

ABBEY PLC
Preliminary Statement for the year ended 30 April 2020

The Group reports a profit of €33.0 million before taxation against a profit of €53.0 million in the previous year. After a tax charge of €6.5 million the Group made a profit of €26.5 million reflecting earnings per share of 125.62 cents. Group operating profits during the year were €32.7 million against €53.0 million the previous year.

Dividends of 11 cents per share absorbing €2.3 million were paid during the year.

Our housebuilding operations completed 490 sales (UK 405; Ireland 57, CZK 28) with a turnover of €162.7 million generating an operating profit of €31.3 million. Trading in the last quarter was significantly impacted by the Covid crisis. In this context the overall results were satisfactory. In the UK production and sales activity resumed at reduced levels in May. Sales have held up well supported by the ‘Help to Buy’ programme. Margins overall are reasonable and forward orders are normal. Production is steady but constrained by Covid regulations and some material supply interruptions. The UK land bank closed the year at just short of 1,800 plots. All new projects placed on hold are planned to start before the end of October. Budgeting this year is more than usually difficult and the delayed start to new projects will result in lower than previously planned completions.

In Ireland we ended the year with a strong forward sales position. Sales completions will rise significantly this year. Work is well advanced on our two projects in Navan and another in Portlaoise. Our substantial new project in Oranmore County Galway will be underway in the first half. Further projects are in the planning process.

In Czechia our project in Přezletice is sold out and should be completed this year. Sales in Horomeřice are going well and production is progressing steadily.

At the year end the Group owned and controlled land allocated for housing development for the supply of 2,947 plots.

M & J reported operating profits of €0.5 million on a turnover of €18.4 million. Trading has been severely impacted by recent events and an extremely difficult year is in prospect. Turnover is still well below year ago levels.

Rental income during the year was €1.1m. A fair value adjustment loss of €0.2m was recorded in the year.

The Group held €70.8 million in cash at the end of the financial year. On the balance sheet date commitments outstanding on land were €2.5 million.

The Group is trading profitably in the current year. Higher Sales completions in Ireland and Czechia should ensure that overall house sales volumes at least exceed this year. The UK performance will critically depend on confidence and employment levels in the wider economy. The curtailing of the UK ‘Help to Buy’ programme will introduce another significant headwind to our prospects. Covid 19 has undoubtedly been a severe blow to the economy and to our business. The longer term impact is unclear. Overall the Group is fortunate to be in a healthy financial position and we hope with caution to add to our land bank in the months ahead.

In the light of current events the Board will not recommend a dividend 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 87.59p and 100 cents: CZK 25.78. The balance sheet uses the ratio prevailing on 30 April 2020 of 100 cents: STG 86.85p and 100 cents: CZK 27.03.

On behalf of the Board
CHARLES H GALLAGHER
EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN
10 July 2020

Contact:
Davy Corporate Finance (Nominated Adviser and ESM Adviser)
Brian Garrahy Tel:+353 1679 6363

The Preliminary Results financial statements for the year ended 30 April 2020 can be accessed by clicking on the link below:
Preliminary Financials 10 July 2020

The Directors’ report and group financial statements for the year ended 30 April 2020 can be accessed by clicking on the below:
Abbey plc Group Financial Statements 30.04.2020