Countryside Properties posts profit rise, hikes dividend
Countryside Properties posted a rise in half-year profit on Thursday as completions and revenue rose and the home builder said it was on track to deliver volume and margin expectations for the full year.
In the six months to 31 March, adjusted operating profit was up 11% at £89.4m, while completions increased 43% to 2,362 and adjusted revenue jumped 20% to £563.7m.
Countryside said the main driver drivers of growth in the first half were affordable completions, up 80% to 938 homes following the acquisition of Westleigh, and private rented sector homes up 68% to 608 homes, driven by the framework agreement with Sigma Capital Group.
The company said that as expected, completions remain weighted to the second half of the year due to the phasing of build programmes which remain on track.
Pointing to "continued strong cash generation" and confidence in its mixed-tenure delivery, Countryside said it was increasing the dividend to 40% of adjusted earnings with immediate effect, from 30% previously. As a result, it recommended an interim dividend of 6p a share, up from 4.2p in the first half of the previous year.
Chief executive Ian Sutcliffe said: "We have delivered excellent growth in the first six months of the year and have continued positive momentum into the second half.
"We see strong demand for our high quality homes and have underpinned margins with operational efficiency and the opening of our modular panel factory. We remain confident of delivering full year and medium-term expectations."