Taylor Wimpey points to continued growth after Brexit vote
Taylor Wimpey has shaken off any impending fears over the impact of Brexit uncertainty as it grew profits by 12.1 per cent in the six months to July 3.
Releasing results for the six months to 2 July 2016, the group completed a total of 6,019 homes, excluding joint ventures, an increase of 3 per cent. The average selling price rose by 5.8 per cent to £238k.
Immediately after the EU vote, Taylor Wimpey tightened requirements for buying new land, resulting in a slight drop in purchases of new plots. 3,110 plots were bought into the short term land market, compared to 3,620 plots in the same period last year. The group are now encouraged by the stability and resilience of the market and believe the risk brought by the vote is starting to reduce.
The housebuilder said that it was closely monitoring customer confidence, but in the short term at least it was business as usual.
Pete Redfern, Taylor Wimpey’s chief executive, said: “While it is still too early to assess what long-term impact the EU referendum result will have on the UK housing market, there has been no meaningful change to date, with trading in the last month at a normal seasonal range.
“Customer interest continues to be high, with a good level of visitors both to our developments and to our website.”
In another sign of confidence, Taylor Wimpey confirmed it would pay a special dividend of £300 million – or 9.2p a share – in July 2017, as well as an interim dividend of 0.53p a share in October 2016.
Looking forward, Taylor Wimpey are targeting an average annual return on net operating assets of 30 per cent and an average operating profit margin of c.22 per cent by 2018. The group will seek to return a total of £1.3 billion to shareholders in dividends over the same period.