Half year results for the six months ended 30 June 2017

  • Profit before tax increased 30% to £457.4m (2016: £352.3m)
  • Revenue up 12% to £1.66bn (2016: £1.49bn)
  • Legal completions increased 8% to 7,794 (2016: 7,238) - an additional 556 new homes delivered
  • Average selling price of £213,262 up 4% (2016: £205,762)
  • Further expansion of underlying operating margin* to 27.6% (2016: 23.8%), an increase of 380bps
  • Return on average capital employed** increased by 33% to 47.3% (2016: 35.6%)
  • 9,319 plots of new land secured in the period bringing consented land bank to 98,712 plots
  • Continued success in securing planning consent for the Group’s strategic land bank with 3,308 plots converted in the period, 35% of the new plots acquired
  • Net free cash generation*** of £284.5m in the period (2016: £229.9m)
  • Net cash of £1,120.4m at 30 June 2017 (2016: £462.0m), prior to £339.5m capital return paid on 3 July 2017
  • Basic earnings per share increased 30% to 119.5p (2016: 92.0p)
  • Current forward sales 15% ahead at £2.005bn (2016: £1.747bn)
  • Return of surplus capital under the Capital Return Plan of 25p per share (£77.1m) paid 31 March 2017 in addition to the scheduled payment of 110p per share (£339.5m) paid after the balance sheet date on 3 July 2017
  • Commitment to return surplus capital of at least 110 pence per share to shareholders each July until 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:

"The successful execution of the Group’s long term strategy continues to support excellent trading results as seen again in the first half of 2017. Our focus on meeting market demand to deliver high quality sustainable growth in each of our 29 regional businesses is delivering excellent outcomes for our customers, our shareholders, and all our stakeholders.”

“The market remains confident. Customer interest in our developments remains strong with encouraging levels of interest through both our websites and our sales outlets as we trade through the quieter summer weeks. Our private reservation rate over recent weeks is c. 2% ahead year on year. Whilst we remain vigilant to changes in market conditions we also recognise we are in a strong position to take advantage of opportunities that arise. We are looking forward to a good autumn sales season.”

“With a high quality land bank, very strong balance sheet and excellent forward sales the Group has built a platform for its future success.”