Bellway ups dividend as annual profit jumps
Bellway increased its final dividend by almost two-thirds as the housebuilder reported a 72% increase in annual profit and a solid order book.
Underlying pretax profit rose to £530.8m in the 12 months to the end of July from £309.3m a year earlier as revenue increased 40% to £3.12bn. Statutory pretax profit more than doubled to £479m from £236.7m.
The FTSE 250 group increased its final dividend by 65% to 82.5p a share taking the annual payout to 117.5p - up 135%. Bellway said its forward order book was £1.97bn on 3 October, up from £1.87bn a year earlier. The average selling price is expected to be about £295,000, down from £306,479 because of changes in product mix ahead of a change in Help-to-Buy rules.
Bellway said it had strengthened its land bank to 86,571 plots from 72,361 plots in 2020 and that this would support its growth plans. The company said it was targeting cumulative underlying pretax profit of about £1.25bn over the next two financial years and that one-third would be paid out in dividends.
Chief Executive Jason Honeyman said: "Bellway has performed well throughout the financial year, benefitting from strong underlying demand across the country for our high-quality and affordable new homes. There are wider economic uncertainties because of Brexit and the continuing pandemic. Notwithstanding these concerns, market conditions and customer confidence are strong, and the success of the vaccination programme is having a positive impact on the UK's prospective economic performance."