“Excellent” 2021 performance reported by Vistry

Vistry Group has seen an “excellent performance” throughout 2021 across all its business areas, it said today (January 12), with the business anticipating adjusted pre-tax profit for the year of around £345 million, matching its previous guidance.

This expected profit for the year ending December 31 2021 compares with FY 2020’s £143.9 million. Issuing a trading update ahead of announcing the full results on March 2, the company said the group’s average weekly private sales rate per outlet increased to 0.76 during the period from the previous year’s 0.53.

Its Housebuilding division saw a “significant step up” in completions in 2021, totalling 6,551 units against 2020’s 4,652. Private units totalled 4,891 (FY20: 3,668). The average selling price of the units increased marginally to £304,000 against the previous year’s £303,000. Vistry said this reflected the increase in affordable units, from 2020’s 984 to 1,660.

Housebuilding’s gross margin is still expected to be “in excess” of 22% (FY20: 17.6%).

And Vistry Partnerships “made excellent progress” in rapidly increasing its higher margin mixed tenure revenues. During 2021, mixed tenure completions climbed 41% to 2,088. The average selling price of these grew to £229,000 from 2020’s £204,000.

The group noted its “strong forward sales position”, with total Housebuilding and Partnership mixed tenure forward sales up 24% to £1.94 billion as of December 31 2021 against the end of 2020.

Vistry added that for 2022, it expected to achieve a “significant step up” in profits and returns. This includes Partnerships reaching revenue of “at least” £1 billion and an operating margin above 10%.

The business also said it would work with the government as well as the Home Builders Federation to deliver a solution to the remediation of high rise buildings, following the recent letter from the levelling up secretary Michael Gove to the industry. “We continue to consider all relevant cases and are committed to meeting any liability which we identify,” Vistry’s statement read.

Commenting on its trading update, ceo Greg Fitzgerald said: “2021 has been an excellent year for Vistry Group with progress and success achieved across all areas of the business.

“We are focused on leveraging the group’s unique combination of Housebuilding and Partnerships assets as well as our strength and capability across all housing tenures, with our target of delivering sector leading returns in the medium term.”