Chief exec Greg Fitzgerald says results for 2021 will be ’well ahead’ of consensus forecasts
Housebuilder Vistry has said it will beat profit expectations for the year by around £15m in a positive City trading update.
The firm, formed at the start of last year from the merger of Bovis with the housebuilding operations of Galliford Try, said it had seen a “very positive start to the year with strong demand across all areas of the business”.
The business said it now expects pre-tax profit for the calendar year 2021 to be around £325m, up from the £310m predicted by analysts, with the business on track to meet expectations in 2022.
The firm said it now expected to sell 6,500 homes this financial year, up from the 6,300 it was predicting back in March, and almost 50% up on the 4,632 produced in the covid-hit 2020 financial year.
Shares in Vistry rose as much as 3% in early trading on the London Stock Exchange, despite the FTSE 100 index falling back overall. The upgrade to forecasts follows recent upgrades by rivals Barratt and Crest Nicholson, on the back of a strong housing market.
Vistry said its average weekly private sales rate for the year to date had hit 0.75, up more than a fifth from the equivalent figure in 2019, and in comparison to just 0.44 achieved last year. The firm said it was seeing good demand for the new Help to Buy product, introduced in April.
Vistry added that it also expected its cash position to improve on previous guidance, with month end average net debt of less than £150m, compared to the £200m previously expected.
Greg Fitzgerald, chief executive (pictured right) said it had been “a very positive start to the year” which mean that “we anticipate results for the six months will be well ahead of our previous expectations.”
He said Vistry’s housebuilding arm was “firmly on track to deliver a significant step up in completions” while its Partnerships business was “making excellent progress towards its targets of increasing revenues from £728m last year to £1bn in FY22”.
The figures came as online estate agent Rightmove released its latest housing market data showing a rise of 4% in house prices in just the last two months.