Bellway have announced that their growth in earnings has enabled the board to recommend a 5.3% increase in the final dividend to 100.0p per share (2018 - 95.0p), increasing the proposed total dividend for the year by 5.2% to 150.4p per share (2018 - 143.0p).
The dividend is determined following careful consideration of capital requirements, as well as the Group's operational capability to deliver further long term volume growth. If approved, the total dividend will be covered by earnings by 2.9 times (2018 - 3.0 times).
Other financial highlights include:
Another successful year with a record number of housing completions at 10,892 homes (2018 - 10,307), up 5.7% on last year.
Solid operational performance, together with volume growth, resulted in profit before taxation rising by 3.4%, in line with guidance, to £662.6 million (2018 - £641.1 million).
The operating margin of 21.0% (2018 - 22.1%) continued to moderate towards a more normalised level.
Positive non-recurring contribution from the Group's flagship, high gross margin development at Nine Elms in Battersea, which contributed 214 completions (2018 - 132), at an average selling price of £820,467 (2018 - £705,567). Notwithstanding the reducing proportion of revenue generated in London, the Group should achieve an average selling price in the year ahead in excess of £285,000 (2019 - £291,968).
Strong balance sheet and net cash of £201.2 million (2018 - £99.0 million), ensuring significant financial flexibility and capacity for future investment.