Results for 2021 will be ‘well ahead’ of consensus forecasts, says chief executive Greg Fitzgerald
Vistry has it will exceed profit expectations for the year by around £15m in a positive City trading update.
The housebuilder, formed at the start of last year from the merger of Bovis with the housebuilding operations of Galliford Try, said it had seen a “very positive start to the year with strong demand across all areas of the business”.
The firm said it now expects pre-tax profit for the calendar year 2021 to be around £325m, up from the £310m predicted by analysts, with the business on track to meet expectations in 2022.
The firm said it now expected to sell 6,500 homes this financial year, up from the 6,300 it was predicting in March and almost 50% up on the 4,632 produced in the covid-hit 2020 financial year.
Shares in Vistry rose by 3% in early trading on the London Stock Exchange, despite the FTSE 100 index falling back overall. The upgrade to forecasts follows recent upgrades by rivals Barratt and Crest Nicholson on the back of a strong housing market.
Vistry said its average weekly private sales rate for the year to date had hit 0.75, up more than a fifth from the equivalent figure in 2019, and compared with just 0.44 achieved last year. The firm said it was seeing good demand for the new Help to Buy product, introduced in April.
Vistry added it also expected its cash position to improve on previous guidance, with month-end average net debt of less than £150m, compared with the £200m previously expected.