Profit on track for Vistry

Vistry Group is on track to deliver a full year pre-tax profit at the top end of its expected range of £130 million to £140 million it reported in the latest trading update.

The group said that during the period from July 1 to November 11 2020, its homes demand had remained “consistently strong” at a private sales rate per outlet per week of 0.67 against 0.58 during the equivalent period last year.

It added that its performance had not been disrupted following the announcement of a second national lockdown, and the business was fully sold for its forecast total completions for FY 2020.

The group’s housebuilding forward sales total 6,726 units compared to 5,729 in June 2020, carrying £1,536 million of revenue (June 2020: £1,264 million). Its mixed tenure forward sales total 1,657 units (June 2020: 1,604) on £358 million revenue (June 2020: £357 million).

Meanwhile, Vistry Partnerships’ contracting forward order book totals £811 million (June 30 2020: £920 million).

Vistry said it that for FY 2021 it expected to “step up” completions in both housebuilding and Partnerships, “supported by our record forward sales position and secured land supply”.

The business also said it was “well positioned” to deliver a pre-tax profit in FY 2021 of £310 million, assuming stable market conditions.

Vistry’s “robust” business performance and outlook has prompted it to reinstate its dividends next year, including an earlier-than- anticipated interim dividend next November.

Greg Fitzgerald, Vistry Group’s ceo, said: “Demand for our new homes has remained strong and we are on track to deliver profit for FY20 at the top end of our expectations. We are well positioned for FY21 with a record forward sales position and assuming stable market conditions, expect to see a step-up in completions delivering group profits of £310 million.

“Our priority is reducing the group’s leverage while delivering on our medium-term targets. Cash generation has been strong, and we now expect our FY20 year-end net debt to be significantly lower than our previous expectations.”

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