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INTERIM STATEMENT FOR THE SIX MONTHS ENDED 31 OCTOBER 2018
The Board of Abbey plc reports a profit before taxation of €23.93m which compares with a profit of €23.42m for the corresponding period last year. Profits at the operating level were €23.93m as compared to €23.42m at the half way stage last year.
Our housebuilding division completed 277 sales (UK 239; Ireland 19; Czechia 19) with a turnover of €99.17m resulting in an operating profit of €21.52m. Trading in the UK has held up well over the six months. Margins, as previously guided, have reduced in line with our expectations. Forward sales continue to be encouraging. In particular our projects aimed directly at first time buyers are selling well. Production continues to be impacted by tight labour and materials markets and some delays have been experienced. Costs are rising. As always trading in the last quarter will determine our final result. In Ireland production will soon be in progress on five projects and we are hoping for a useful contribution to our year end figures. A further four projects are making their way through the approvals process as efforts continue to grow our Irish business. In Prague good sales were achieved at our Prezlitice project. Work has commenced on the new project for 154 apartments in Horomerice.
M & J Engineers, our UK plant hire business, generated operating profits of €1.88m on a turnover of €10.98m. A fair outcome is in prospect for the year, however trading over recent weeks, whilst ahead of last year, has been slightly behind our target.
Rental income for the period amounted to €534,000.
The Group maintained good cash flow during the period and held €93.38m in cash at the end of October.
The Board has carefully reviewed the current financial position of the Group together with likely future commitments. As a result the Board is pleased to declare a special dividend of 100.00 cents per share payable on the 31st January 2019 to shareholders on the register at 4th January 2019.
In addition the Board is declaring a dividend of 9.00 cents per share to be paid on 30th April 2019 to shareholders on the register at 5th April 2019. Together with the 10.00 cents per share approved at the AGM in October this will make a total of 119.00 cents per share for the financial year.
Shareholders should carefully note the exchange rates used for this statement. The income statement uses the average rate for the period of 100 cents: STG88.60 and 100 cents: CZK 25.74. The balance sheet uses the rate prevailing on 31 October 2018 of 100 cents: STG 88.68 and 100 cents: CZK 25.94.
Whilst our UK forward sales position gives confidence that a reasonable result for the year will be achieved the continuing uncertain external conditions are cause for concern. The Group will continue to progress all its activities but intends to be cautious about new investments in the months ahead.
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 2018
The Interim Results for the six months ended to 31 October 2018 can be accessed by clicking on the following link:
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