Taylor Wimpey Prioritises Margin and Profit over Volume

In a Trading Statement issued today 18th January 2011 by Taylor Wimpey plc

Taylor Wimpey advised that it completed 9,962 homes in 2010 compared to 10,186 in 2009 as the firm looked to prioritise profit and margin over volume.

In the interim trading statement the firm said that operating profit and profit before tax would be ahead of the upgraded expectations set last November and margin on UK housing is expected to be 7%, up from 0.8% last year.

Taylor Wimpey says that having reduced build cost by 10% in the first half, it has delivered further savings in the past six months  which has resulted in the higher margin.

The firm says that it continues to be cautious in the face of constrained mortgage lending and continuing uncertainty in the wider economy. But it expects to continue to reduce costs and is encouraged by enhanced sales rates, prices and margins at recently opened outlets.

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 well in the current market conditions.

If you are a house builder and need temporary 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


Bovis Homes – Sales Increase 5% and Operating Profit Predicted to be at Least 7%

More good news from another House Builder – Bovis who issued their trading update today.

A full copy of the Statement can be seen by following the links at the bottom of this post but the high lights on its housing are posted below details regarding its land purchases and housing stock can be seen on our Onyx Marketing blog site:

Trading update January 2011, 14 January 2011


Bovis Homes Group PLC is today issuing the following trading update ahead of reporting its preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2010 on Monday 14 March 2011.

The Group has achieved a significant improvement in profits in 2010 and has made strong progress in implementing its land investment strategy.

Sales and profits growth

In line with management expectations, the Group legally completed 1,901 homes in 2010 (2009: 1,803 homes), an increase of 5%, of which 1,592 were private homes (2009: 1,527 homes) and 309 were social homes (2009: 276 social homes). The Group’s average sales price in 2010 was £160,700, 4% higher than the equivalent of £154,600 in 2009. This increase was driven by growth in the Group’s average private sales price in 2010 to £172,400 from £165,500 in 2009.
Improved sales prices during the year combined with the benefit of build cost savings primarily on second half legal completions have increased the gross margin. With overheads in line with expectations, the Group expects the operating profit margin for 2010 to be at least 7%. Given the Group’s strong performance, it is anticipated that the profit for 2010 will be ahead of consensus1 expectations as at the date of this trading update.

Return to dividend

The Group has delivered early success with its growth strategy and the Board is confident in its further delivery, based on current market conditions. Given this confidence, the Board has decided to recommence the payment of dividends to shareholders. Based on the anticipated 2010 profits and the Group’s robust balance sheet position, the Group will declare a dividend for 2010, subject to approval by shareholders at the 2011 Annual General Meeting, which will be paid in May 2011.

Commenting on the progress achieved in 2010, David Ritchie , Chief Executive of Bovis Homes, said:

“We are pleased with the positive Group performance in 2010 and remain confident of our growth strategy through the acquisition of good quality residential land at attractive rates, which will provide an increase in sales outlets to support volume growth. Based on current market conditions this will deliver growth in profits and improved financial returns which will add significantly to future shareholder value.”

A full copy of the statement from Bovis Homes can be obtained from their website http://www.bovishomesgroup.co.uk/information-on/press-releases/ or the following link Statement Report

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

Galliford Try – Plot Completions Up 28% to 851 Units

Housebuilding and construction group Galliford Try said there was a 28% increase in total housing completions to 851 units in the half to end-December. In a Trading Statement released by the company today for the 6 months to End December 2010.

A full copy of the Statement can be seen by following the links at the bottom of this post but the high lights on its housing are posted below:



Galliford Try plc, the housebuilding and construction group, today provides the following update on trading for the half year ended 31 December 2010.  The group expects to announce its results for the half year on 23 February 2011.



·      28% increase in total housing completions to 851 units; 779 net of joint venture partners’ share (2009: 663 and 638). 

·      11% increase in total housing sales reserved, contracted and completed at £359 million (2009: £324 million). 

·      8% increase in total landbank to 9,500 plots (31 December 2009: 8,800 plots).

·      62% of landbank now secured at current market values, (31 December 2009: 36%). 

·      Selected as preferred developer on projects in all three HCA delivery partner panel regions. 

Greg Fitzgerald, Chief Executive, commented: 

“While the economic outlook is still uncertain, the board continues to be encouraged by the progress being made in housebuilding and by the resilience of the Group’s construction business.  While remaining cautious in the short term, the Group is confident in its strategy for delivering the objectives of its expansion plan.”

Total sales reserved, contracted or completed of £359 million are up by 11% compared to a year ago.  £238 million is for the current financial year to 30 June 2011, representing 63% of projected sales for the year (2009: £235 million, 75%).  Our sales in the first half have been achieved from a similar number of outlets to last year.  The second half is expected to benefit from a significant increase in the number of active selling sites over the next six months from the current level of 65 to over 85 by the end of the financial year in June 2011, giving us the outlets projected in our three year expansion plan. 

Following the encouraging sales volumes achieved during the first quarter, the market did not benefit from the historic autumn seasonal upturn.  It then remained subdued for the rest of the first half of our financial year, exacerbated by the adverse weather conditions across our operating areas in December.  Mortgage availability remains the most serious constraint to sales volumes, and we continue to make controlled use of shared equity and part exchange sales incentives. Our cancellation levels are currently running at 20%, close to the long term average.

With our strong southern bias and minimal dependence on consortium sites, prices achieved have continued to be at or slightly above our expectations and our average selling price on private sales was up 4% at £204,000 (2009: £197,000).  Due to a higher proportion of lower priced affordable homes completed in the period, the average selling price for affordable sales was £110,000 (2009: £131,000) leading to a combined average selling price of £178,000 (2009: £181,000).

A full copy of the statement from Galliford Try can be obtained from their website http://www.gallifordtry.co.uk/investors or the following link Statement Report

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

Barratt Lowers Debt to £540m and Increases Operating Margin to 5%

In a Trading Statement Issued today by Barratt Developments for the 6 months to End of December ( its Half Year)

Barratt Developments said group revenues were around £875m for the half-year to end-December, in-line with the prior year period.

Average selling price (“ASP”) against the prior year equivalent period increased by c. 6% to £176k, with private ASP increasing by c. 11% to £192k, driven by changes in mix. Underlying selling prices remained stable during the period.

The group saw significant improvement in operating profit with operating margin increasing to around 5% in the period, up from 2.4% in the prior year period.

Net debt was lower than expectations at c. £540m, with full year guidance maintained at £400m to £450m.

Forward sales as at 31st December 2010 were in-line with the prior year at £645.7m.

Mark Clare, Group CEO, commented, “The Group has delivered a significant improvement in both average selling prices and operating margin even though sales volumes have been affected by difficult trading conditions. We are on course to make further progress in the second half as we open new higher margin sites and continue to be value and quality focused.”

A full copy of the statement from Barratts can be obtained from their website http://www.barrattdevelopments.co.uk/barratt/en/home or the following link Statement Report

Andrew Fella at Onyx Construction Consultants is pleased to have counted Barratt as one of his first Clients when he first went freelance many years ago helping them set up their new offices in the Eastern Region at Brentwood before they moved to new premises at Chelmsford a couple of years later having out grown the old offices. Its great to see some of the guys are still there and getting the job done.
If you are a house builder and need temporary assistance with your commercial needs or a subcontractor looking for an introduction to major house builders such as Barratts then contact Andrew Fella at Onyx Construction Consultants Ltd

Persimmon Extends its Pretax Profit & Slashes Debt

Housebuilder Persimmon said it has achieved a significant increase in underlying profit before tax in the year to end-December 2010, which will be at the top end of analysts’ expectations.

During 2010 Persimmon legally completed 9,384 (2009: 8,976) homes at an average selling price of c. £167,000 generating a turnover of c. £1.57 billion. This represents an increase on the 2009 performance of 4.5% on legal completions, a c. 6% improvement in average selling price of our homes, partly due to mix changes, and a c. 10% increase in turnover.

The company also achieved a further significant reduction in net borrowings to c. £51m (2009: £267.5m) during this period. This reduction in net borrowings is well ahead of original expectations and is a result of our continued strategy to generate cash whilst maximising margins.

As previously indicated underlying operating margin for the year will be c. 8%.

Persimmon said it had not experienced the usual level of upturn in sales in the autumn period with most parts of the country affected by severe weather conditions for several weeks. Whilst, unsurprisingly, this has reduced the level of sales activity during the period, pricing has remained stable and the margins on forward sales of c. £565m have been maintained at the levels achieved over recent months.

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 well in the current market conditions.

If you are a house builder and need temporary 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

Bellway Homes – Interim Statement – Profits up 20%

Things are looking up at Bellway Homes including the number of sites opening and more importantly their profit. With their land buyers looking to buy new land on top of the 1260 plots bought already.

The full report:

Interim Management Statement

7 December 2010

Bellway is today issuing an Interim Management Statement (IMS) relating to the
period from 1 August to 30 November 2010.

As previously reported at the time of our annual results on 19 October,
reservations prior to the announcement of the Government’s Comprehensive
Spending Review (CSR) did not benefit from the usual degree of uplift normally
associated with the housing market in autumn. Since the CSR, however, home
reservations taken are ahead of the Board’s expectations, although still
slightly down compared with the same period last year. The decline in consumer
confidence appears to have levelled out and encouragingly, people are still
committing to purchase even at this time of year.

The Group currently has 3,614 sales (2009 – 3,486) secured for this financial
year and a further 400 (2009 – 598) for the next financial year. The average
selling price for all these sales is £167,600 which is 8.4% ahead compared to
this time last year, mainly as a result of the continuing change in product
mix. The Board anticipates that unit completions in the six months to 31
January 2011 will be similar to last year, albeit at a slightly higher average
selling price and that net profit before tax will rise by up to 20%.

Our divisions are gradually increasing investment in new site openings and it
is anticipated that the number of selling outlets will increase from 185 to
around 200 in early 2011. Having completed the acquisition of 1,260 plots in
the period and still maintaining a net cash position, the balance sheet remains
robust. The Group’s land teams are actively looking to secure further
opportunities at attractive margins and the divisions are concentrating on
bringing newly acquired sites to the market as quickly as possible to underpin
the operating margin going forward.

The outcome for the year to 31 July 2011 will be greatly dependent on the level
of consumer confidence during the 2011 spring selling season. This, in turn is
reliant on a reasonable supply of affordable mortgages combined with sensible
lending criteria.

The Board believes it is currently well positioned in what continues to be a
tough and testing market for UK housebuilding.

The Berkeley Group – Interim Results

Interim Results 2010/11

 Announcing the results of The Berkeley Group Holdings plc (“Berkeley” or “the Group”) – the urban regenerator and residential property developer – for the six months ended 31 October 2010, Chairman, Tony Pidgley said:

“This strong set of results represents an excellent performance from Berkeley at a time when the economy is looking to find traction for what is proving an elusive sustained recovery.  When coupled with Berkeley’s strong balance sheet, its unrivalled land bank and the underlying demand for the well located, quality homes developed by Berkeley in London and the South East, the Group remains well positioned to deliver enhanced shareholder value.  As always, it is only through the hard work and dedication of Berkeley’s people that results such as these are possible.”


·   Earnings per Share Up 19.2% to 33.5 pence (2009: 28.1 pence)
·   Profit before Tax Up 18.5% to £61.6 million (2009: £52.0 million)
·   Operating Margin 17.4% (2009: 17.4%)
·   Net Asset Value per Share Up 4.9% to 667.6 pence (April 2010: 636.7 pence) following acquisition of 3.8 million shares for £30.0 million
·   Net Cash £252.7 million (April 2010: £316.9 million)
·   Cash due on Forward Sales Up 21.9% to £790.1 million (April 2010: £648.1 million)
·   Land Bank 2,512 plots acquired and £263 million of future gross margin added in the period; an increase in value of 12.9% since 30 April 2010 


Commenting on the results, Managing Director, Rob Perrins, said:

 “Today’s results, which show an increase in both earnings and sales reservations approaching 20%, demonstrate the underlying resilience of the housing market in London and the South East over the last six months.  As a consequence, cash due on forward sales has increased by 21.9% over the period, providing forward visibility in a period which has seen Berkeley increase the number of sites from which it is selling.

Since the start of the year, Berkeley has acquired some 2,500 plots, including prime London sites in Westminster and on Hammersmith Embankment, both completing in the second half, and a site for 1,000 new homes in Horsham. Berkeley’s strategy is based on identifying opportunities to acquire land in the right locations to which we can add value and these results highlight growth of 12.9% in the value of land bank future gross margin, from £2,038 million to £2,301 million, in the six months.

 Overall, this strong performance provides the Board with confidence that Berkeley can outperform management’s original expectations for the current year and is well placed for the following year.

Finally, I am delighted that Berkeley’s Vision 2020 strategy, launched in June, has so quickly become part of the Group’s culture and continues to place Berkeley at the forefront of the industry.  For the fourth consecutive year Berkeley has ranked first in the NextGeneration Sustainability benchmark. In addition, St Edward’s development at Stanmore has received a coveted Building for Life award.  It is only by putting the customer and the communities we create at the heart of every decision that the challenges faced by the industry can be addressed.”


 Berkeley is pleased to announce a pre-tax profit of £61.6 million for the six months ended 31 October 2010.  This is an increase of 18.5% on the £52.0 million achieved in the same period last year, driven principally by an increase in revenue of 15.9% from £290.1 million to £336.2 million.  Operating margin of 17.4% is at a similar level to the first half of last year, with net finance income of £1.8 million (2009: £3.0 million) and joint ventures contributing £1.2 million of profit (2009: £1.6 million loss).  Basic earnings per share for the six months are 33.5 pence compared to 28.1 pence for the equivalent period last year; an increase of 19.2%.


The housing market in London and the South East is characterised by an imbalance of demand for new homes in excess of supply.  The sites recently acquired by Berkeley are in excellent locations where this imbalance has traditionally been most acute.  For the time being therefore, and in the absence of any external shocks to the economy, Berkeley believes the current market in terms of prices and transaction levels should remain stable.  

Longer term, Berkeley’s outlook remains closely aligned to the success of London in attracting investment, employment and of course, retaining its status as the premier World City.  Outside London, which is more closely aligned with the UK domestic economy, the lack of liquidity and the absence of the feel-good factor remain constraints to an increase in transaction volumes on each site.

 With these challenging market conditions presenting opportunities for those with access to capital, Berkeley will enter 2011 in a strong position and with an increased level of confidence to deliver the new homes and places in which our customers aspire to live.

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