McCarthy and Stone announce a maintained total dividend of 5.4p per share
The McCarthy and Stone Directors are proposing a final dividend of 3.5p per share, maintaining a total dividend for the year at 5.4p per share (2018: 5.4p per share) reflecting the Board's confidence in the Group's strategy despite lowering profits.
Other financial highlights include:
During the 14 month period ended 31 October 2019 revenue increased to £725m (2018: £672m) supported by a 3% increase in average selling price to c.£308k (2018: £300k) and total legal completions of 2,301 units (2018: 2,134).
Underlying operating profit was at £68m (2018: £68m), while the underlying operating profit margin decreased to 9.4% (2018: 10.1%). This reduction in margin percentage was mainly driven by an increased usage of part-exchange and incentives to counteract subdued market conditions.
Profit before tax decreased to £43m (2018: £58m), with £17m of exceptional costs incurred during the period, mainly representing the cost of land which will no longer be developed net of any residual land value to be recovered, redundancy costs and consultants' fees in relation to the strategic review.
Underlying basic earnings per share marginally increased to 9.5p (2018: 9.2p).
Basic earnings per share decreased to 6.5p (2018: 8.6p).
Strong balance sheet, with year-end net cash of £25m (2018: £4m) notwithstanding the increased level of in-house part-exchange transactions and the seed portfolio of rental properties currently held on the balance sheet prior to their onward sale to a strategic rental partner.
As at 31 October 2019, the Group held a portfolio of 101 let retirement rental units. This portfolio of rental assets has been accounted on the balance sheet as investment properties and valued at £27.6m based on a valuation carried out by independent valuation consultants. The associated revaluation uplift of £5.9m (2018: nil) has been recognised within 'other operating income' on the income statement.
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