For the year to 31st July 2017 Bellway generated revenue of £2.56bn, a 14% increase on the previous year’s £2.24bn, and grew pre-tax profit by 13% to £560.7m (2016: £497.9m).
The company is confident about continued growth too.
“The land market remains attractive, providing good quality opportunities at attractive rates of return and the planning environment is generally favourable,” said John Watson, who has temporarily taken the position of executive chairman while Ted Ayres is on sick leave. “Bellway has both the financial and operational capacity to capitalise on these investment opportunities.”
He was unfazed by Brexit or skills shortages, saying: “Whilst the skills shortage facing the entire construction sector is a moderator to the industry's overall ability to deliver growth, it is not preventing Bellway from continuing to increase its output of new homes.”
Jason Honeyman, who joined the board as chief operating officer last month, agreed. He said: “Whilst there is some reliance upon overseas labour, predominantly in the southeast and London, there is no evidence that this valuable resource has diminished as negotiations to leave the EU progress.”
Bellway’s average selling price rose by 3% to £260,354 during the year (2016: £252,793) and the private average selling price rose by 6.3% to £296,018 (2016: £278,403), due to a combination of house price inflation and building in more expensive areas.
The total number of new homes sold was 9,644 (2016: £8,721), of which 7,567 were private sales and 2,077 were social housing (2016: 7,325 and 1,376 respectively).
The board expects a further 5% increase in average selling price to £280,000 this year and it also expects to grow volume by at least 5%.
Over the past year, the northern divisions increased output by 11.2% to 4,655 homes (2016: 4,187 homes). Output in the south grew by 10% to 4,989 homes (2016: 4,534 homes).