Belfast Telegraph

Bovis Homes expects record profits despite Brexit and election hits to prices

The company, which recently changed its name to Vistry, said profits are likely to be ahead of analysts’ expectations.

Bovis Homes – now Vistry – said profits will be ahead of forecasts (Rui Vieira/PA)
Bovis Homes – now Vistry – said profits will be ahead of forecasts (Rui Vieira/PA)

By Simon Neville, PA City Editor

House-builder Vistry – formerly known as Bovis Homes – said 2019 profits are expected to be at record levels, despite bosses warning that Brexit and the general election have hit house prices.

Pre-tax profits, excluding one-off costs, are set to be above market expectations of £181.6 million, with recent acquisitions working well, the company said.

Chief executive Greg Fitzgerald said: “The group has made further operational progress over the past 12 months and for 2019 expects to deliver another year of record profit.

“Building high-quality new homes for our customers has been, and remains our priority, and I am confident we will finish the year as a (Home Builders Federation) five-star house-builder.

“We completed the transformational acquisition of Linden Homes and the renamed Vistry Partnerships at the start of this year; integration is well under way, and we are fully focused on delivering the clear and significant benefits from this exciting combination as quickly as possible.”

If there has been a ‘Boris’ bounce in consumer confidence, the debate will be how high and for how long. We should get a pretty good idea by the end of February Clyde Lewis and Alex Stout, Peel Hunt

The group completed 3,867 homes – up 108 on the year before – in the 12 months to December 31, with the average selling price rising from £273,200 to £279,000. The average selling price of private houses rose to £341,000 from £337,400.

However, Vistry said the impact of Brexit and the general election uncertainty has hit sales, with prices in the second half of 2019 falling by between 1% and 2%.

The costs from the acquisition of Linden Homes and Vistry Partnerhsips will be £15 million, the company added.

Two months ago, rival house-builder Galliford agreed to sell its Linden Homes and Partnerships and Regeneration units to Bovis in a deal worth £1.14 billion.

Analysts are hopeful that the positive update will lead to further improvements in the year ahead.

Clyde Lewis and Alex Stout, at Peel Hunt, said: “The group has not said anything about the start to the new year given that it is only a few weeks old, but we suspect activity has picked up post-election.

“If there has been a ‘Boris’ bounce in consumer confidence, the debate will be how high and for how long. We should get a pretty good idea by the end of February.”

PA

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