Taylor Wimpey has a positive start to the year

Releasing figures Taylor Wimpey reported a 5% increase in group completions to 16,042 including joint ventures (2018: 15,275) in 2019 confirming the results for the year were “in line with expectations”.

Revenue increased by 6.4% to £4,341.3 million (2018: £4,082.0 million) with operating profit of £850.5 million (2018: £880.2 million) – volume growth was offset by rising build costs and flat house prices, delivering an operating profit margin of 19.6% (2018: 21.6%). Profit before tax and exceptional items was £821.6 million (2018: £856.8 million).

The group reported an “industry leading” sales rate of 0.96 (2018: 0.80), representing a record, and an increase of 20%.

Looking ahead the firms says it has made a positive start to 2020. “Coming into the spring selling season and, with a clearer political outlook, customer confidence has improved.”

The net private sales rate for the year to date (w/e 23 February 2020) was 0.97 (2019: 0.99).

Pete Redfern, Taylor Wimpey ceo, said: “The group delivered a good performance in 2019, with a record sales rate and home completions increasing by 5%. During the year, we continued to strengthen our business and build a sustainable advantage, improving our core customer proposition and business flexibility through investments in customer service, quality, build capacity and direct labour. These investments will strengthen the business for the long term.

“The new year has started well, with a good level of customer demand and a clearer political outlook.”

The firm has a “strong” UK forward order book of 9,725 units as at December 31 2019 (December 31 2018: 8,304), valued at £2,176 million (2018: £1,782 million).