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Bellway PLC

Bellway Plc Continued delivery of growth strategy and a strong financial performance

Bellway Plc (LON:BWY), today announce interim results for the half year ended 31 January 2019.

Half year ended

31 January

2019

Half year ended

31 January

20184

Movement

Revenue

£1,488.0m

£1,324.4m

+ 12.4%

Gross profit

£377.5m

£344.5m

+ 9.6%

Gross margin

25.4%

26.0%

(60 bps)

Operating profit

£319.8m

£294.2m

+ 8.7%

Operating margin

21.5%

22.2%

(70 bps)

Profit before taxation

£313.9m

£288.7m

+ 8.7%

Earnings per share

207.5p

191.6p

+ 8.3%

Interim dividend per share

50.4p

48.0p

+ 5.0%

Net asset value per share1

2,189p

1,892p

+ 15.7%

Return on capital employed1

24.2%

25.3%

(110 bps)

Robust results and a solid balance sheet

§ Another good operating performance, with the completion of 5,007 homes (2018 – 4,741), an increase of 5.6%.

§ The ongoing growth in volume, together with a 6.5% increase in the average selling price, which rose to £293,832 (2018 – £275,945), contributed to total revenue rising by 12.4% to £1,488.0 million (2018 – £1,324.4 million).

§ Earnings per share rose by 8.3% to 207.5p (2018 – 191.6p), a half year record for the Group.

§ The interim dividend will increase by 5.0% to 50.4p per share (2018 – 48.0p per share).

§ A solid balance sheet, with modest net bank debt of only £26.6 million (2018 – £131.4 million), ensures that Bellway remains agile and is able to grow further, responding to new land opportunities as they arise.

Ongoing operational strength

§ An ongoing emphasis on high standards of customer care resulted in the Group being recognised as a five-star homebuilder2 for the third year in succession.

§ The new Artisan house type range has been plotted on 53 developments with the first completions expected next financial year.

§ Further disciplined investment in land has resulted in the owned and controlled land bank growing to 42,261 plots (2018 – 39,994 plots), with implementable detailed planning permission secured on all plots included in the next financial year’s anticipated completion forecast.

Delivering growth in the years ahead

§ In addition to the 12.4% growth in revenue in the first six months, recent trading is positive and the forward order book strong, with a value of £1,485.2 million at 10 March 2019 (11 March 2018 – £1,524.9 million), comprising 5,724 homes (11 March 2018 – 5,485 homes).

§ Our recently opened Eastern Counties division will begin to deliver completions in the second half of this financial year and our new London Partnerships division will contribute to growth in the next financial year.

§ Bellway has capacity to deliver up to 13,000 homes per annum from its current divisional structure.

§ Further volume growth is expected both this financial year and over the longer term as the Group continues to benefit from investment in newer divisions and further expands its divisional network.

Chairman’s Overview

Commenting on the results, Chairman, Paul Hampden Smith, said:

A long term approach to growth that benefits all of our stakeholders

Bellway has delivered another positive set of financial results driven by a strong operational performance. The continuation of our growth strategy has resulted in additional volume output and a further rise in the average selling price, with earnings increasing by 8.3% to 207.5p per share (2018 – 191.6p per share), a record for a first half trading period.

Our approach is to deliver value for our shareholders over the longer term, through responsible business practices, whilst considering the effect of our activity upon all of our stakeholders and the wider communities in which we operate. Through adopting this approach, the Group has achieved substantial volume growth and following ten consecutive years of rising output, the number of homes sold by Bellway has risen by almost 150%. Not only has this growth made a significant contribution to the supply of much needed new homes, Bellway has achieved this whilst maintaining an ongoing focus on quality and customer care, retaining our status as a five-star homebuilder2 and further building upon our reputation as a leading, national housebuilder.

As a result of the strong operational and financial performance, I am pleased to announce that the interim dividend will rise by 5.0% to 50.4p per share (2018 – 48.0p per share). Bellway retains significant capacity for further growth, both from its existing divisional structure and through the continued investment in new sites and divisions, where land opportunities meet or exceed the Group’s minimum return requirements. Accordingly, whilst Bellway can be flexible with regards to dividend payments, for the full financial year the Board expects to maintain a dividend cover of around three times earnings.

1 Bellway uses a range of statutory performance measures and alternative performance measures when reviewing the performance of the Group against its strategy. Definitions of the alternative performance measures, and a reconciliation to statutory performance measures, are included in note 10.

2 As measured by the Home Builders’ Federation Customer Satisfaction survey.

3 All figures relating to completions, order book, reservations, cancellations and average selling price exclude the Group’s share of its joint ventures.

4 Restated following the adoption of IFRS 15 ‘Revenue from contracts with customers’. See note 1 for further details.

 

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