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

Interim Statement

ABBEY PLC
INTERIM STATEMENT FOR THE SIX MONTHS ENDED 31 OCTOBER 2020

The Board of Abbey plc reports a profit before taxation of €26.00m which compares with a profit of €21.59m for the corresponding period last year. Profits at the operating level were €26.00m as compared to €21.45m at the half way stage last year. Included in operating profits are Foreign Exchange gains of €3.52m recognised in the period.

Our housebuilding division completed 291 sales (UK 237; Ireland 36; Czechia 18) with a turnover of €105.45m resulting in an operating profit of €25.04m. Trading in the UK has been good particularly in the second quarter boosted by the reduction in stamp duty. Determined effort from production and sales has mitigated the impact of the lock down experienced early in the half year. Margins continue to be satisfactory. Forward reservations are buoyant and give cause for optimism that, subject to production, a reasonable second half is in prospect. There are signs that supply chain and skilled labour shortages may emerge in the year ahead. In Ireland progress is steady and year end completions are on track to be significantly ahead of last year. In Prague our project in Přezletice is close to completion and we have now reserved over 50 units on our apartment scheme in Horomeřice. First completions from Horomeřice are anticipated next year. In both the UK and Ireland terms have recently been agreed for the commitment of €63.4m to acquire new land for development.

M & J Engineers, our UK plant hire business, generated operating profits of €435,000 on a turnover of €7.56m. Turnover continue to be substantially behind year ago levels and a difficult second half is in prospect.

Rental income for the period amounted to €520,000.

Further to the authority granted at the Annual General Meeting on 4 October 2019 the company purchased for cancellation in the period 40,859 ordinary shares at a total cost €655,000.

The Group maintained good cash flow during the period and held €121.41m in cash at the end of October. The Group is planning significant investment in land in the year ahead.

The Board is not declaring a dividend for the period. A further review of dividend policy will take place prior to our full year results.

Shareholders should carefully note the exchange rates used for this statement. The income statement uses the average rate for the period of 100 cents: STG 90.16 and 100 cents: CZK 26.76. The balance sheet uses the rate prevailing on 31 October 2019 of 100 cents: STG 90.06 and 100 cents: CZK 27.29.

The Group is on course for, in all the circumstances, a reasonable outcome for the year. There remains considerable uncertainty over longer term prospects. Some difficult, perhaps very difficult, trading periods may lie ahead.

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
10th December 2020

The Interim Results for the six months ended 31 October 2020 can be accessed by clicking on the following link:
Interim Financials 31.10.2020

RECOMMENDED OFFER
The Board of Gallagher Holdings Limited (“GHL”) and an independent committee of the board of Abbey plc have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended cash offer by GHL for the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Abbey (excluding shares already owned by GHL). Consequently, GHL will imminently announce a firm intention to make an offer under Rule 2.5 of the Irish Takeover Rules.

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of EU Market Abuse Regulation 596/2014 (“MAR”). The person responsible for arranging for the release of this announcement on behalf of Abbey plc is David Dawson, Company Secretary.