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

 

 

UK’s 20 Biggest House Builders by Turnover

The Top 20 house builders league table ranks the UK’s 20 biggest house builders by turnover and profit.

2010 Rank by turnover

2010 Rank by profit

Company

Latest turnover (£m)

Previous turnover (£m)

Latest pre-tax profit (£m)

Previous pre-tax profit (£m)

Latest margin (%)

Previous margin (%)

2009 Rank by Turnover

2009 Rank by Profit

1

20

Taylor Wimpey

2,596

3,468

-700

-1,970

-27.0

-56.8

2

25

2

19

Barratt

2,285

3,555

-679

137

-29.7

3.9

1

2

3

2

Persimmon

1,421

1,755

77.8

-780

5.5

-44.4

3

24

4

12

Bellway

684

1,150

-36.6

34.8

-5.4

3.0

4

4

5

1

Berkeley

615

702

110

120

17.9

17.1

5

1

6

8

Bloor *

311

335

-1.5

-51.9

-0.5

-15.5

13

18

7

17

Miller

310

646

-157

52.9

-50.6

8.2

12

21

8

16

Redrow

302

650

-141

-194

-46.7

-29.8

7

22

9

6

Bovis Homes

282

282

4.8

-78.7

1.7

-27.9

15

20

10

10

Stewart Milne

276

420

-27

25.1

-9.8

6.0

11

6

11

13

Crest Nicholson **

238

544

-50.7

-383

-21.3

-70.4

8

23

12

14

Galliford Try

235

486

-53.8

10.6

-22.9

2.2

6

8

13

3

McCarthy & Stone ***

226

457

19

114

8.4

24.9

10

3

14

7

Fairview

224

223

0.4

-32.3

0.2

-14.5

17

17

15

9

Countryside

188

518

-25.7

26.5

-13.7

5.1

9

5

16

11

Cala

168

175

-33.9

-266

-20.2

-152.0

14

11

17

5

Telford

159

107

7.3

4.3

4.6

4.0

24

12

18

15

Kier

151

312

-62.4

-21.2

-41.3

-6.8

16

15

19

18

McInerney

127

256

-164

-175

-129.1

-68.4

22

14

20

4

Morris

112

163

11.9

17.3

10.6

10.6

18

9

 

 

Totals

10,910

16,204

(1,901)

(3,410)

 

 

 

 

All companies ranked according to their most recently filed accounts.

* Bloor Holdings only publishes an operating profit (before exceptional items) for its house-building business.

** Crest Nicholson results cover period 23 January to 31 October 2009. The company was incorporated on 23 January 2009.

Berkeley Group Increases Land Bank

As Part of its Interim Statement  issued last Friday 3/11/2010 the Berkeley Group gave details of its increased land bank, including traditional sites (one assumes not classed as brown field) in St Albans, Oxford and Horsham. Other sites acquired as their report suggests are in Prime London locations.

An Extract of the Land Section of the Interim statement is given below:

Land Holdings

 At 31 October 2010, the Group (including joint ventures) controlled some 28,914 plots with an estimated gross margin of £2,301 million.  This compares with 28,099 plots and an estimated gross margin of £2,038 million at 30 April 2010. Of the total 28,914 plots, 28,647 plots (April 2010: 27,094) are owned and included on the balance sheet.  In addition, 226 plots (April 2010: 935) are contracted and 41 plots (April 2010: 70) have terms agreed. In excess of 95% of our holdings are on brown-field or recycled land.  

The increase in the land bank is a result of new land acquisitions in the period which has seen Berkeley agree 13 new sites, covering some 2,500 plots.  These new sites include prime London sites in Westminster and on Hammersmith Embankment, traditional sites in St Albans and Oxford and a site in Horsham for over 1,000 units acquired through strategic land in its long-term pipeline. All of the sites agreed are in excellent locations in London and the South East with strong underlying demand for quality new homes where Berkeley can create vibrant new communities and enhance value through its development expertise. 

In addition to the 28,914 plots in its land bank, and after accounting for the transfer of the site at Horsham acquired in the period to the land bank, Berkeley continues to have approximately 10,000 plots in its long-term pipeline, which it envisages delivering over the next ten years.  This includes the latter phases of Kidbrooke and Woodberry Down, strategic land and a number of sites being worked up within St Edward Homes, Berkeley’s joint venture with Prudential.  Of a more long-term nature; Berkeley hopes these sites will come through into the land bank but they currently have an uncertain outcome due to planning policy or vacant possession issues.

In terms of planning, Berkeley entered the year having achieved new or revised planning consents on 38 of its sites in the run up to the May Election.  It is therefore very pleasing to have had a number of further notable successes in the first half of this year.  These include sites in Belgravia, Westminster, Greenwich, Roehampton and Oxford, and revised consents for schemes in Battersea and Acton and the second phase of the student scheme being developed in Clapham for Imperial College.  Through the ongoing re-planning and re-assessment process, the land bank includes a net reduction of approximately 400 plots due to a combination of re-planning densities and increasing individual unit sizes and removing plots that are no longer commercially viable. 

St Edward Homes accounts for some 1,400 plots in the land bank across three sites.  These include: Stanmore Place, where the first phase is selling well and development on later phases progressing and 375 Kensington High Street, which has been successfully launched to the market and where demolition work has begun.  In addition, Berkeley continues to work with Prudential to identify further sites to which St Edward Homes can add value and three of these are in the long-term pipeline.

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.”

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PERIOD

·   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.”

 Results

 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%.

 Outlook 

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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