Vistry has enjoyed a strong start to 2021, with performance significantly ahead of its expectations supported by successful operational integration and positive customer demand.
Issuing its results for the six-month period ended 30 June 2021, the Group adjusted revenues increased to £1,259.4m, 4.3% ahead of H1 19 proforma revenues. Housebuilding adjusted gross margin rose to 21.8%, compared to 14.1% in the first six months of 2020.
Rapid growth in Partnerships saw higher margin mixed tenure revenues to £163.9m, compared to £88.2m in HY 2020, with Partnerships adjusted operating margin increasing to 9.1% (H1 20: 4.0%), firmly on track for 10+% by the end of 2022.
Group profit before tax increased to £156.2m, a strong recovery after a loss £12.2m in HY2020. Growth in owned landbank size saw the addition of 5,642 new plots in the period, combined with investment in 4,660 strategic land plots
And a strong cash generation resulted in a net cash position of £31.6m as at 30 June 2021, as compared to H1 20 net debt position of £357.3m
Customer interest and sales trends also remain positive into the second half of the year, with a forward sales position of £3bn compared to £2.7bn in September 2020. House price inflation also more than offset cost increases, with supply chain issues being well managed.
The Group reports to be well positioned for the full year, with its expectations for adjusted profit before tax increased to c.£345m, 5% ahead of consensus market expectations.
Group month-end average net debt for FY 21 is expected to be less than £125m, and improved targeted net cash position of c.£225m at year end
Greg Fitzgerald, Vistry chief executive, said: “Following an effective operational integration, Vistry is in great shape and delivered a step change in financial performance in the first half. The Group holds a unique market position with strength and capability across all housing tenures, and we are firmly focused on maximising the opportunities this brings.
“Housebuilding delivered a significant improvement in margin in H1 and we expect this to continue, whilst Vistry Partnerships is firmly on track to deliver more than £1bn of revenue in FY 22 and a margin in excess of 10%, driven by the accelerated growth of its higher margin mixed tenure revenues.
“The Group ended the period with £31.6m net cash representing nearly £400m of cash inflow over the last 12 months, reflecting our financial performance and balance sheet strength. Thanks to this performance and our ongoing confidence in the business and market outlook, the Board is delighted to announce a 20pence per share dividend in respect of the first half and looking forwards intends to maintain a two times dividend cover, while committing to returning excess capital to shareholders.
“As always, the achievements of the Group reflect the outstanding commitment and skills of our people, and my thanks to them and to our supply chain partners for their sterling efforts.”