INTERIM STATEMENT FOR THE SIX MONTHS ENDED 31 OCTOBER 2019
The Board of Abbey plc reports a profit before taxation of €21.59m which compares with a profit of €23.93m for the corresponding period last year. Profits at the operating level were €21.45m as compared to €23.93m at the half way stage last year.
Our housebuilding division completed 293 sales (UK 233; Ireland 36; Czechia 24) with a turnover of €92.54m resulting in an operating profit of €19.99m. Trading in the UK has been satisfactory over the past six months. Margins have held up well on a reduced turnover reflecting a higher proportion of affordable homes in our sales mix. Forward sales are at a level consistent with our year end targets. Market conditions are patchy with lower priced homes proving most saleable. Production is progressing steadily and cost pressures are, at the moment, contained. There is still much work to do in the last quarter and as is usual any setback can significantly impact our results. In Ireland work is progressing on five projects. Sales have been good and we are expecting further positive progress over the next few months. In Prague work is continuing in Přezletice and Horomeřice. A new project with an approved planning permit has been secured in Vinohrady. The building permit process is underway.
M & J Engineers, our UK plant hire business, generated operating profits of €923,000 on a turnover of €10.51m. A lower turnover together with rising costs have resulted in a lower contribution. No immediate improvement is likely and a difficult second half is in prospect.
Rental income for the period amounted to €535,000.
Further to the authority granted at the Annual General Meeting on 5 October 2018 the company purchased for cancellation in the period 431,579 ordinary shares at a total cost of €6,532,000.
The Group maintained good cash flow during the period and held €106.25m in cash at the end of October. The Group is planning significant investments in land in the year ahead.
The Board is declaring a dividend of 10 cents per share to be paid on 30 April 2020 to shareholders on the register at 3rd April 2020. Together with the 11 cents per share approved at the AGM in October this will make a total of 21 cents per share for the financial year.
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 89.03 and 100 cents: CZK 25.71. The balance sheet uses the rate prevailing on 31 October 2019 of 100 cents: STG 86.22 and 100 cents: CZK 25.50.
The Group is on course for a fair outcome for the year. There is still considerable uncertainty in the outlook and trading conditions can change quickly. The Group is working hard to increase its activity in Ireland.
Copies of this statement are available to shareholders and members of the public at the company's registered office, 25 North Wall Quay, Dublin 1.
On behalf of the Board
Charles H Gallagher - Chairman
6th December 2019
The Interim Results for the six months ended to 31 October 2019 can be accessed by clicking on the following link:
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