Berkeley Grp Hlds

Interim Management Statement

RNS Number : 5121C
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) PLC
18 March 2014
 



The Berkeley Group Holdings plc

Interim Management Statement

Period from 1 November 2013 to 28 February 2014

18 March 2014

 

The Berkeley Group Holdings plc ("Berkeley" or "the Group") today announces its Interim Management Statement which covers the period from 1 November 2013 to 28 February 2014.

Berkeley has continued to invest in the delivery of new homes and focus on creating fantastic places. This investment has enabled us to create jobs, employing over 10,000 people on our sites, contribute to local communities and build in excess of 10% of all new affordable homes in London over the last six years. Berkeley is proud of its growing contribution to the UK housing market and this year it anticipates completing some 30% more homes than at the peak of the market in 2007.

Alongside a positive trading environment and a period of wider economic growth, the Government's Help to Buy scheme has increased activity in the property market and so has helped the acceleration of delivery of new homes across the sector. We are working to deliver more, but reiterate the importance of maintaining a stable and predictable regulatory and taxation environment to enable this continued investment.

In respect of trading, sales of new build properties across all of the Berkeley brands have been strong. Cash due on forward sales is now in excess of £1.9 billion (up from £1.75 billion at 31 October 2013) reflecting this continued demand for new homes in London and the South of England. Following payment of the dividend of £117.9 million (90 pence per share) on 17 January 2014, the Group remains ungeared.

Berkeley has now paid £1.64 per share of dividends, equivalent to £215 million, towards the first milestone of £568 million by September 2015. This leaves further dividends of £2.70 per share to be paid by the first milestone date and the Board is satisfied that Berkeley is well placed to achieve this through a series of regular dividends.

As previously stated, Berkeley has the land with implementable planning permissions in place that will enable the Group to achieve the second milestone, equivalent to further dividends of £4.33 per share by September 2018.

The Group has increased its land holdings with the acquisition of five further sites since the half year. Of these, two will be immediately added to our land holdings and three sites included in our future pipeline as they are controlled conditionally, dependent on securing a planning permission and vacant possession.

This activity leaves the Group well-positioned to maintain the estimated future gross margin in its land holdings at £3 billion whilst continuing to deliver sustainable returns on equity. Approximately 86% of the Group's land holdings have an implementable planning permission and all of these sites are in the course of construction, consistent with our previous disclosures in December.

In light of the progress made in the delivery and completion of Berkeley's developments in the period, the Board reiterates its previous guidance that full year earnings are likely to be towards the top of the range of analysts' current expectations.

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For further information please contact:

The Berkeley Group Holdings plc                                                 Novella Communications

R C Perrins                                                                                           Tim Robertson

N G Simpkin                                                                                          T: 020 7630 3843

T: 01932 868 555

 


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