Completions top 7,000 for half year

Taylor Wimpey has upgraded its profit expectation for the year following a surge in completions.

The giant housebuilder, in a report for the half year to 4 July today, said it now expects its operating profit for the year to be around £820million, exceeding the £756m to £808m range it stated last Summer.

The group completed 7,303 homes in the half-year, a 160% increase on the 2,771 recorded in the same period last year during the Covid-19 shutdown. It exceeded the 6,541 completed in the first half of 2019 pre-pandemic. The group now expects to complete around 14,000 homes in the year, which is at the upper end of previous expectations.

The company said the record figure for the half-year was due to the strength of the housing market and delayed completions from the end of last year.

The group’s profit margin for the half year was 19.3%, exceeding the 2.1% recorded for the same period last year and the 18% posted in the same period in 2019 pre-pandemic.

Profit-before tax during the period was £287.5million, after an exceptional charge of £125million for fixing fire safety defects. Revenue was £2.2bn, up from the £754million recorded in the same period last year and the £1.73bn recorded in the first half of 2019.

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Its sales rate was 0.97, up from 0.70 for the same period last year. It said this was due to “strong customer demand for homes in the UK underpinned by low interest rates, good mortgage availability and Government support for customers in the form of Help to Buy”.

The group’s order book stands at £2.71bn, representing 10,589 homes, excluding joint ventures.

Peter Redfern, chief executive of Taylor Wimpey, said: “”We have delivered a record first half performance and a strong operating profit margin performance of 19.3%, which reflects tight cost discipline as well as higher completions in the period.

“Our focus remains on driving further improvement in our operating profit margin and accelerated outlet-driven volume growth from 2023.”