Half Year results for the six months ended 30 June 2018
- Profit before tax increased 13% to £516.3m (2017: £457.4m)
- New home sales increased 4% to 8,072 (2017: 7,794) - an additional 278 new homes delivered
- New home average selling price of £215,813 up 1% (2017: £213,262)
- Total Group revenue up 5% to £1.84bn (2017: £1.75bn)
- Underlying new housing operating margin* increased by 210 basis points to 29.7% (2017: 27.6%)
- Return on average capital employed** increased by 14% to 53.8% (2017: 47.3%)
- 11,072 plots of new land secured in the period, including 3,212 plots converted from the Group’s strategic land bank
- Net free cash generation*** of £240.4m (2017: £284.5m)
- £1,154.6m cash held (2017: £1,120.4m), prior to £343.8m capital return paid on 2 July 2018
- Basic earnings per share increased by 13% to 134.9p (2017: 119.5p)
- Current forward sales 6% ahead at £2.120bn (2017: £2.005bn)
- Return of surplus capital of 125 pence per share (£388.5m) paid 29 March 2018 in addition to the scheduled payment of 110 pence per share (£343.8m) paid after the balance sheet date on 2 July 2018
- Commitment to return surplus capital of at least 235 pence per share to shareholders each year for the next two years ending 2020, and 110 pence per share in 2021
* stated before goodwill impairment
** 12 month rolling average stated before goodwill impairment
*** net free cash generation stated before Capital Return Plan payments
Jeff Fairburn, Group Chief Executive, said:
"These strong results reflect the continued successful delivery of the Group’s long term strategy and our commitment to meeting customer demand in each of our 30 regional markets across the UK.
We have continued to experience good levels of customer interest in our housing development sites as we trade through the quieter summer season. Customers are continuing to benefit from a competitive mortgage market and confidence remains resilient based on healthy employment trends and low interest rates. Our forward sales are 6% ahead of last year at £2.12bn which places the Group in a strong position for the second half of the year.
The Group continues to invest in the business to improve operational capacity. The increased utilisation of the Group’s standard house types and the greater use of the Group’s offsite manufacturing capability will support the Group’s aim to deliver further increases in new home volumes.
The Group has a robust platform to continue to deliver successful outcomes based on its high quality land bank, strong forward sales, excellent financial position, and experienced management team. We believe we are well positioned to deliver further high quality, sustainable growth.”