Housebuilder expecting further growth this year

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Taylor Wimpey has hailed its strong performance in 2017, with results in line with expectations and further growth anticipated for this year.

In a trading update ahead of its full year for 2017, which will be announced on 28 February, the housebuilder said home completions in the UK increased 5% to 14,451 from 13,881 in 2016, with 2,809 affordable homes delivered compared to 2,690 in the previous year.

Its order book totalled £1.69bn versus £1.68bn excluding joint ventures in 2016, representing 7,136 homes compared to 7,567 a year earlier.

Average selling prices on private completions rose 3% from £286,000 to £296,000, with the overall average selling price increasing 4% from £255,000 to £264,000. 

Build cost inflation was 3-4% with the firm expecting a similar rise in 2018 due to “resourcing pressures in the sector”.

On a group-wide basis, it ended 2017 with net cash of £512m versus £365m a year earlier after the payment of £450m of dividends to shareholders in 2017. 

Peter Redfern, chief executive of Taylor Wimpey, said: “We achieved a strong financial and operational performance in 2017 and are continuing to deliver against our strategy. Despite wider macroeconomic uncertainty, housing market fundamentals remain solid and our trading performance has been good.

“We go into 2018 with positive momentum and expect to achieve further progress against our medium term targets. Our focused strategy of managing the business through the cycle, while also driving further operational improvements, will enable us to continue to deliver long term value for shareholders.”

In 2016, the firm saw pre-tax profit jump 22% to £733m from £603m a year earlier, with revenue rising 19% to £3.7bn from £3.1bn.