2011 in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.


Click here to see the complete report.


We have made it in to #tCnTop100


We like our sister company Onyx Marketing and its Blog site have an associated Twitter account @onyxconsultants and both twitter accounts were registered with the tCnTop100 PeerIndex site about  a month ago.

The tCnTop100 is a listing of tweeters in UK and the built environment. Our sister site goes in to more detail about the #tCnTop100 and  has links to the site so follow this link to Onyx Marketing Blog for more information.

In the meantime we would just like to announce that we, that is Onyx Consultants Ltd has also made it in to the Top 100 list (in at 92) of twitter sites and as such can display the badge on our site. Onyx Marketing made it in to the top 100 last week.

If you are listed on the site let us know in the comment box below.


Galliford Try Housing Companies Re-branded as Linden Homes

The Galliford Try Group has united its housebuilding companies under one banner – Linden Homes.



Stamford Homes, Midas Homes, Rosemullion Homes and Gerald Wood Homes will all now operate under the Linden Homes brand name.


A quote from their new look website states ”Our aim is to further improve upon our customer service and the quality of our homes to achieve a better understanding of what you want, drawing on our regional expertise and applying it on a national level”


Long overdue in our opinion having the same corporate identity is more suitable to a top twenty house builder than half a dozen names with the same logo.


But as a reminder here are some of the names and logos we won’t be seeing any more.


If you are a house builder and need assistance with your commercial requirements or a subcontractor looking for an introduction to major house builders such as Galliford Try Linden Homes then contact Andrew Fella at Onyx Construction Consultants Ltd on 01473 743682


Taylor Wimpey Reduces Debt by Selling Off US and Canada Housing Divisions


One of Onyx Construction Consultants major clients announced on 31st March that it had reduced its debt with the sale of its USA & Canada House Building Divisions a wise move we think bearing in mind the current climate in the US and UK.


Taylor Wimpey plc announces the sale of its North American Business for ($955m) £595m.

The Company has agreed to sell  Taylor Woodrow Holdings (USA), Inc. and Taylor Wimpey Holdings of Canada, Corporation to TMM Holdings Limited Partnership, a partnership controlled by certain investment funds affiliated with TPG Capital, certain investment funds affiliated with Oaktree Capital Management, L.P., as well as JH Investments Inc., and its subsidiaries  for a base consideration of $955m (£595m at the current exchange rate) payable on Completion. The Company will also receive additional proceeds for cash balances in the North American Business as at 31 December 2010 and net capital invested by the Company in the North American Business from 1 January 2011 to Completion.

Highlights of the Disposal:

– The Disposal is a significant step towards achieving the Group’s strategic objective of focusing on its core UK housing business, creating a strong financial base for future investment;

The base consideration of £595m represents a premium of 3.4% to adjusted net assets as at 31 December 2010); and

The net cash proceeds of the Disposal will be applied to reduce the Group’s borrowings and its pension deficit, resulting in an overall increase in its financial flexibility.

Following the Disposal, the Group will build on the significant performance improvement in the UK. The Group will continue to focus on delivering margin improvement from the existing land portfolio and adding new sites where good opportunities are identified.

Pete Redfern, Group Chief Executive, said:

“We are delighted to announce the sale of our North American Business, which is a significant step towards our goal of becoming a UK focused homebuilder. The sale will provide us with a strengthened balance sheet and increased financial capacity to invest in the UK and to pursue our strategic aims of focusing on margin growth.

“Following a competitive process, we are pleased to have achieved a price that reflects an attractive valuation for this business. I have been hugely impressed by our North American employees and would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their hard work, loyalty and commitment over many years and in relation to this transaction.

Construction Material Price Increases for March – April 2011

Details of price increases as advised by our friends at Buildbase / Civils and Lintels part of the Grafton Group of companies.

For more information on how these increases effect the overall price of materials for example the overall cost of a paving slab, a tonne of sand or m³ of concrete here in the UK on your project then contact Onyx Construction Consultants Ltd. and ask about our estimating and job costing services.

Price Increases for March / April 2011

For more details of the previous increases visit the Buildbase website at http://www.buildbase.co.uk/pages/priceincreases_latestmanincreases.asp

Berkeley Group Overall Sales Reservations up 25%

House Builder Berkeley Group published and Interim Statement this week with a lot of positive details such as 25% increase in reservations and land purchases some of which were discussed previously in this blog back in December see our post Berkeley Group Increases Landbank details of the statement are given below:

The Berkeley Group Holdings plc

Interim Management Statement

Period from 1 November 2010 to 28 February 2011

18 March 2011

The Berkeley Group Holdings plc (“Berkeley”) today announces its Interim Management Statement in respect of the period from 1 November 2010 to 28 February 2011.

Overall sales reservations achieved in the period were some 25% ahead of the comparable period last year and cancellation rates are at historically low levels.  The average numbers of visitors per site since the beginning of the year has been consistent with the same period last year, reflecting the current mortgage market conditions, with an increase in the number of outlets leading to the higher levels of sales overall.

Forward sales currently exceed £800 million, providing confidence to invest in work in progress on our sites.  Build costs remain benign with underlying increases in fuel and commodities offset by excess capacity in the construction sector, although we continue to monitor this closely.   Berkeley’s strategy is aligned to investing during this period in the cycle.  As indicated in December with the release of the interim results, the level of investment in land and work in progress is forecast to result in a net cash outflow in the second half of the year and this is anticipated to continue into the next financial year when Berkeley expects to become moderately geared.

In the period, Berkeley has acquired a further 1,000 plots across 8 new sites bringing the total number of plots acquired in the year to 3,500 across 21 sites.  These include: a site in the City with an existing planning consent for some 750 new homes, a 337-bed hotel, 601 student bedrooms and 100,000 sqft of commercial space; a site in Kensington acquired by St Edward (our joint venture with Prudential) in close proximity to the existing 375 Kensington High Street development; and a number of sites in the Southern Home Counties and Oxfordshire for up to 20 homes each.

Berkeley has also obtained planning on two of its key London development sites in the period.  A planning consent for 752 homes and 140,000 sqft of recreational and commercial space which will include a hotel, gym, spa, bars and restaurants has been received at Tideway Wharf in the heart of the Nine Elms Regeneration Area and a planning consent for One Tower Bridge, a site jointly owned with the London Borough of Southwark, has been obtained for 400 homes, along with 90,000 sqft of cultural and retail space.  In addition, in February 2011, Berkeley announced an agreement to build a new station for Crossrail at its site at Royal Arsenal which will facilitate the delivery of 4,500 new homes and represents a major investment in the regeneration and infrastructure of the area.

The performance of the business over the last four months provides the Board with confidence and Berkeley anticipates reporting earnings at the high end of its expectations for the year ended 30 April 2011 and the investment in work in progress will enable a further growth in earnings in 2011/12 if overall market conditions permit.


A full copy of the statement from Berkeley Group can be obtained from their website http://www.berkeleygroup.co.uk/investor-information or the following link Statement Report


If you are a house builder and need assistance with your commercial requirements or a subcontractor looking for an introduction to major house builders such as Berkeley Homes then contact Andrew Fella at Onyx Construction Consultants Ltd. Tel:01473 743682 or email andrew.fella@onyxconstruction.co.uk



Taylor Wimpey Back to Profit £75.1m as Margins Strengthen to 7.5%

Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey plc reported a significant improvement in profitability in 2010, which the group said was driven by prioritising margin over volume.


Profit before tax and exceptionals was up 178.1% at £75.1m for the year to December, turning round from a previous loss of £96.1m. Revenue edged up 0.3% to £2.60bn from total completions of 14,272 homes, previously 15,166.

The group said that although completions fell in both the UK and North America, this was offset by growth in average selling prices.

Group operating margin rose to 7.5% from 1.7%. In the UK, operating margin was 7.1% against the previous 0.8%, while in North America the figure rose to 11.2% from 5.8%.

Adjusted EPS was 0.6p, against the previous loss per share of 4.3p. Net asset value per share increased to 57p from 47p.

No final dividend was declared. The group said it would continue to review its dividend policy in the light of its  financial position and future economic and market conditions.

The group said it had seen strong cash generation throughout the year, with net debt reduced to £654.5m from £750.9m.

CEO Pete Redfern said, ‘The significant improvement in our performance during 2010 reflects our disciplined focus on margin ahead of volume growth. ‘We have continued to improve the quality of our landbank and add value to our existing sites through replans and operational efficiency. We now have the financing  in place to enable us to continue that progress towards our aim of achieving double-digit margins in 2012.’

In the UK, the group said it had seen a positive start to 2011 with some price increases. In North America, markets appeared to have stabilised and there were signs of increasing consumer confidence. The group was evaluating proposals for the North American business and would update the market in due course.


A full copy of the statement from Taylor Wimpey can be obtained from their website http://www.taylorwimpeyplc.com/ or the following link Statement Report


Onyx Construction Consultants are pleased to count Taylor Wimpey as one of its valued clients working with its Bury St Edmunds, Milton Keynes and Borehamwood offices and glad to see that they are doing very well in the current market conditions.


If you are a house builder and need assistance with your commercial needs or a subcontractor looking for an introduction to major house builders then contact Andrew Fella at Onyx Construction Consultants Ltd

Persimmon Profits £95.5m as Margins Improve to 8.2%

Housebuilder Persimmon today reported underlying pre-tax profits of £95.5m for the year to end-December 2010, strongly ahead of prior year (2009: £7m).

Revenues were 10.5% higher at £1.57bn (2009: £1.42bn).

Legal completions increased 4.5% to 9,384 new homes (2009: 8,976), while the average selling price of £167,249 was 5.7% ahead of last year (2009: £158,272).

The underlying operating margin was 8.2% (2009: 4%) and Persimmon said its performance continues to strengthen.

Reported pre-tax profit was £153.9m following a net exceptional credit of £63m (2009: £77.8m, after £74.8m net exceptional credit).

Basic earnings per share were 38.3p (2009: 24.7p).

£225.6m cash was generated from operations (2009: £356.8m).

Gearing was 3% (2009: 16%) and net borrowings reduced to £51m (2009: £267.5m).

Net assets per share increased by 7.2% to 579.1p (2009: 540.2p).

Persimmon said it saw strong forward sales of £848m (2009: £898m).

A final dividend of 4.5p per share to bring the total dividend for the year to 7.5p per share.

John White, Group Chairman, said: “Despite a continuing low level of mortgage approvals, the Group is achieving improving returns and remains well positioned for the upturn in the housing market when it occurs.”


A full copy of the statement from Persimmon can be obtained from their website http://corporate.persimmonhomes.com/ or the following link Statement Report

Onyx Construction Consultants are pleased to count Persimmon as one of its valued clients working with its Northampton and Witham offices and more than pleased that its doing very well in the current market conditions.

If you are a house builder and need assistance with your commercial needs or a subcontractor looking for an introduction to major house builders then contact Andrew Fella at Onyx Construction Consultants Ltd


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