- As previously announced, H1 trading was constrained by the lower forward order book brought into the year as a result of the market uncertainty following the EU Referendum, the anticipated weighting of legal completions from higher margin sites into the second half of the year and the lower number of sales releases during the period (2017: 32, 2016: 36).
- Total legal completions of 866 units (2016: 923 units) at a gross average selling price of £260k (2016: £257k), with further pricing improvements expected in H2 reflecting the quality and location of developments being brought to market.
- Statutory profit before tax of £21.8m (2016: £29.0m) and underlying profit before tax of £22.8m (2016: £39.1m). Higher weighting of volume and margins expected in H2 in line with previous guidance.
- Strong balance sheet and robust financial position, with net debt of £30.4m (2016: £23.9m), equivalent to gearing of 4% (2016: 4%).
- Underlying trading conditions remained stable with lead sales indicators (enquirers, sales leads and visitors) well ahead of the previous year.
- Sales momentum has increased over the last five weeks, with total forward order book including legal completions now running only c.1% behind prior year at c.£496m at end of March 2017, week 30, (2016: £503m).
- Particularly strong period for planning with detailed planning consents achieved on 34 sites representing c.1,314 units (2016: 19 sites representing c.780 units), securing further land bank to support future growth.
- Home Builders Federation ('HBF') Five Star customer satisfaction award just received for an industry-record twelfth consecutive year - the only housebuilder of any size or type to achieve this.
- In line with the Group's progressive dividend policy, the Group is announcing an interim dividend of 1.8p per share (2016: 1.0p per share - pro-rated for period since listing), to be paid on 9 June 2017 to shareholders on the register at close of business on 28 April 2017.