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.”


Lifestyle

Aileen Lee meets Christina Kenny - co-founder and design director of Lamb Design - to talk about her work and inspirations.Christina Kenny of Lamb Design: ‘I love bringing the outside in and inside out’

Tyrone designer Sharon Wauchob on her career and the worth of luxury fastion. By Paul McLachen.From Marc Jacobs to her own label, Tyrone designer Sharon Wauchob on her life in fashion

The recent sentencing of two teenage boys for the murder of Ana Kriégel has once again brought the issue of pornography into public discourse. The details of the case, which are finally coming into public knowledge, illuminate some very worrying trends that are pervasive in the modern adolescent world and as parents and indeed as a society we can no longer languish in complacency.Learning Points: Hardcore porn can pollute our children’s minds

If children are confident in interacting with others it takes away so much stress and social anxiety for them. Not too long ago, my daughter Joan and I were out with friends at a restaurant and we wanted extra water and a few other bits and Joan volunteered to go up and ask the waiter for them. My friend was really surprised at this and said that none of her children would willingly do that.Mum’s the word: We should look for chances to strengthen our kids’ social skills

More From The Irish Examiner