Bellway sales dive by 14 per cent
Friday 15 August 2008
A double-digit fall in sales at Bellway, the UK's fourth-biggest housebuilder, set the scene for a season of bleak results from the sector, and sent its shares down 3 per cent despite a relatively strong balance sheet.
Bellway sold 14 per cent fewer properties in the year to July, according to yesterday's trading statement. The average price was down over £4,000 to £169,000. Reservations in the period plummeted by 45 per cent and threatened cancellations undermined its margin as much as 3 per cent from last year's 18.7 per cent.
"In June and July the number of people who wanted to get out of their obligation to buy was an avalanche and we had to throw money at that to ensure they completed," Alistair Leitch, Bellway's finance director said. "But given the backdrop it is a satisfactory result."
The stamp duty vacillations have not helped. "The Government should say nothing or come out with an actual policy because otherwise it just creates confusion," Mr Leitch said.
It is not all gloom. The group's order book totalled £370m at the end of July, and although the final dividend will not be decided until October, it is not expected to be below the 18.1p per share half-year level.
The company has one of the sector's strongest balance sheets, with gearing of just 23 per cent. Keith Bowman at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, said: "Bellway's measured approach to growth appears to be reaping some benefit." Its shares fell 16.5p to 560p.
Co-creator Mark Gatiss dropped some very intriguing hints ahead of the BBC drama's return next year
- 1 'Not suppost to cry': 9-year-old lists the worst things about being a boy
- 2 Lee Evans announces his retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
- 3 Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
- 4 These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
- 5 Pastafarian former porn star Asia Lemmon allowed to wear colander in driving licence photo
Duchess of Alba dead: Billionaire Spanish duchess who lived life by her own rules, dies at 88
New York snowstorm: Death toll rises to 10 as residents battle with further snowfall
These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? And why has nobody taken legal action?
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Muslims pre-date Columbus in discovering America,' says Turkish president Erdogan
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Former Tory PM Sir John Major says 'we would not have an NHS without migrants'
G20 summit: David Cameron warns Vladimir Putin that Russia's relationship with the West is at a 'fork in the road' over Ukraine
iJobs Money & Business
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Age Concern Slough a...
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Crossroads Care is s...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35,000: SThree: We consistently strive to be ...
£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...