Half-year profits of €22m for housebuilder Abbey

Housebuilder Abbey has reported pre-tax profits of almost €22m for the six months to the end of October, down almost €8m from the same period in 2015.

Analysts nonetheless said the company had met expectations and that the outlook was relatively positive, despite uncertainty driven by the Brexit vote.

The company is involved in housebuilding in the UK and its shares have fallen about 25% this year.

Chairman Charles Gallagher said: “The immediate outlook continues to be good and a strong second half should allow physical activity to surpass last year. In England, uncertainty is affecting sentiment and this may impact the business in 2017.”

Mr Gallagher said that production in the UK was under pressure to keep up with demand. Abbey’s housebuilding division completed 219 sales in the UK, 15 in Ireland and 18 in the Czech Republic in the six-month period until October.

Because of projects in Ireland such as Delgany in Co Wicklow and Ratoath in Co Meath, a steady pick-up in Ireland was now in prospect, he said.

The company announced it will pay shareholders a dividend of 7c a share in addition to the 8c per share announced at October’s AGM.

Eamonn Hughes, senior financials analyst at Goodbody, said it was nonetheless a strong first half year performance for Abbey.

He said: “Abbey mentions that trading in the UK was satisfactory though strong margins were a feature. Forward sales in the UK are good and are consistent with their target of increased activity in the year, noting that production is under pressure to keep up. In Ireland, Abbey notes a steady pick-up in activity is now in prospect.”


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