The Board of Abbey plc reports a profit before taxation of €5.95m which compares with a profit of €3.35m for the corresponding period last year. Profits at the operating level were €4.14m as compared to €2.27m at the half way stage last year.
Our housebuilding division completed 157 sales (UK 134; Ireland 21; Czech Republic 2) with a turnover of €37.05m resulting in an operating profit of €3.06m. Trading in the UK was satisfactory over the period. Our turnover and average sales price increased significantly compared to a year ago. Sales in the Autumn have been hard won with some discounting being a continuing feature on a number of projects. In Ireland sales and rentals on our legacy sites have progressed. Our project in Kilcoole has continued to perform well and is on course to complete this year. A new site in Shankhill, Co. Dublin was acquired for development and is set to commence in the New Year. In Prague sales were disappointing, however some progress has been made in recent weeks and a better result is likely in the second half. Overall further growth in sales in the second half should ensure a reasonable outcome for the year. During the period 123 plots were purchased for the land bank.
M & J Engineers, our UK plant hire business, generated operating profits of €691,000 on a turnover of €7.13m. This was a good improvement on last year. Year on year comparisons however are now more demanding and trading in recent weeks has become more challenging.
Rental income for the period amounted to €395,000.
The Group maintained strong cash flow during the period and held €22.80m in cash and restricted cash together with €42.94m in UK government debt at the end of October.
The Board is pleased to declare a dividend of 3 cents per share which together with the 5 cents approved at the Annual General Meeting in October will make a total of 8 cents for the financial year. The dividend will be paid on 30 April 2013 to shareholders on the register at 2 April 2013.
Shareholders should carefully note the exchange rates used for this statement. The profit and loss statement uses the average exchange rate for the period of 100 cents: STG79.88p and 100 cents: CZK 25.31. The balance sheet uses the rate prevailing on 31 October 2012 of 100 cents: STG 80.43p and 100 cents: CZK 25.11.
The immediate outlook remains difficult. UK house prices remain stable at best and competition for profitable opportunities is intense. The Group is striving to increase its land bank and hopes to be able to report some progress in the periods ahead. Overall a reasonable outcome for the year is in prospect.
Copies of this statement are available to shareholders and members of the public at the company’s registered office, 25\28 North Wall Quay, Dublin 1.
On behalf of the Board
Charles H Gallagher – Chairman
7th December 2012
The Interim Results for the six month ended 31 October 2012 can be accessed by clicking on the following link: