28 new or improved planning consents securing future delivery and value
All sites with an implementable planning consent are in production, with 8 new sites started in the period in Wapping, Chiswick, Maidenhead, Isleworth, Islington, Hornsey, Kingston and Bracknell
New joint venture with National Grid, targeted to deliver over 7,000 new homes from 10 initial sites
Adjusted earnings per share up 18.8% to 263.6 pence (2014: 221.8 pence)
Sale of a portfolio of ground rent assets for proceeds of £99.8 million and profit of £85.1 million
Net cash of £430.9 million (April 2014: £129.2 million)
Net asset value per share up 12.5% to 1,199 pence (April 2014: 1,066 pence)
Further interim dividend of 90 pence per share payable in September 2015 to complete first milestone payment of 434 pence per share
Cash due over the next three years on forward sales of £2,959 million (April 2014: £2,274 million)
Land holdings comprise 37,473plots (April 2014: 35,963 plots) and future anticipated gross margin of £5,272 million (April 2014: £4,514 million)
Normal market conditions with good underlying demand and outlook supported by a clear General Election result.
Commenting on the results, Chairman Tony Pidgley said:
"I am pleased to announce pre-tax profits for the Berkeley Group of £539.7 million for the year ended 30 April 2015. This result underlines the benefit of operating the right strategy consistently through the cycle. By maintaining our financial discipline Berkeley can apply its unique operating model to develop sites which are complex and where others may perceive that the risk is too great, and in doing so, we unlock land for new homes that would not otherwise come forward.
Berkeley accepts this additional operational risk which is managed carefully and intensively to create sustainable added value returns.
Berkeley is delivering some 10% of all new homes in London and 10% of the capital's affordable homes across our 74 sites. This creates economic value of £1.4 billion and sustains some 12,000 jobs. In addition, we remain committed to increase site-based apprenticeships and training to help address the skills shortage which our industry faces.
We are acutely aware of the importance to our society of all forms of tenure for new housing and welcome the vision of Government, the Greater London Authority and local councils to increase the number of new homes built. For Berkeley it is equally important to ensure that we are market leaders in terms of the quality of the places and homes we create.
We welcome the stability in Central Government following the General Election and the commitment to increase housing supply, but political uncertainty remains with the London Mayoral Election and referendum on Britain's relationship with Europe on the horizon. Berkeley is a supporter of the UK remaining in Europe as this is the best way for London to remain a world city. There is no doubt, however, that for business to thrive, we must not be bound by over-regulation, be this from our own government or from Europe.
The Board has declared a further interim dividend of 90 pence per share (£122.9 million), payable on 17 September 2015 to shareholders on the register on 14 August 2015. This will complete the first milestone of paying 434 pence per share by 30 September 2015. The Board considers that the Group is well positioned to meet the remaining milestones of 433 pence by September 2018 and 433 pence by September 2021.
In closing, I would like to express my thanks to my colleagues in Berkeley for their dedication and hard work in delivering this strong performance. I firmly believe that Berkeley has the right plan in place to deliver long-term sustainable success, a strategy which can adapt to any changes in the market to protect the business in what is a cyclical market, and continue to deliver value to shareholders and the community alike."