Another year of strong growth for Countryside!

Countryside has reported “another year of strong growth” with total completions up 27% against 2017.

During the year to September 30 2018, the housebuilder achieved total completions of 4,295 homes. Its overall private average selling price dropped 7% to £402,000 compared to last year, due to the company’s focus on “price-points appropriate to local owner occupiers,” and its shift away from London and the south east.

The group’s net reservation rate for the year was 0.80, slightly down on 2017’s 0.84. It operated from 60 sales outlets against 47 in 2017.

Group adjusted revenue rose 20% to £1,229.5 million, with adjusted operating margin up 110 basis points to 17.2%.

Completions in the Housebuilding division rose 7% to 1,276 homes, with those for private homes rising 3% to 858 homes. Private ASP was “broadly in line” with 2017 – £512,000 on last year’s £515,000, with the division’s pricing stabilising after planned reductions in recent years. “Our Housebuilding division continues to grow to scale,” the business said.

Meanwhile, Countryside’s Partnerships arm “continued its strong growth trajectory during the year”, strengthened by the company’s acquisition of Westleigh in April. Completions lifted 38% to 3,019 homes; those for private homes were up 38% to 1,137 homes.

Countryside said that in 2019, it expected completions growth “in excess of 30%”, with this being largely from the PRS and affordable markets, “reducing our exposure to private for sale homes to around 35% of total completions in the coming year”.

Ian Sutcliffe, Countryside’s group ceo, said: “We have continued our strong growth trajectory during the past year and have exceeded our expectations in operating margins, return on capital employed and cash generation.

“Our differentiated Partnerships division continues to go from strength to strength, while our Housebuilding division is benefiting from operational efficiency and continued capital discipline to deliver improved returns.”