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Sun June 13 2021

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Countryside on course to hit targets

13 Apr 16 House-builder Countryside Properties reports continued strong trading since its stock market launch in February 2016 and is on course to hit its target of topping a 17% operating margin.

Chief executive Ian Sutcliffe
Chief executive Ian Sutcliffe

In a trading update for the six month period from 1st October 2015 to 31st March 2016, Countryside Properties said that completions were up 15% to 1,095 units (H1 2015: 949 units). Forward sales were up 4.3% at £205.3m (H1 2015: £196.7m).

Most of the units are from the company’s Partnerships division, which completed 803 homes versus 716 homes in H1 2015, at an average selling price up 42% to £298,000.

The private housebuilding division completed 292 new homes, up 25% on the 233 in H1 2015, at an average selling price of £782,000, up 18%.

The land bank of owned and controlled plots has been maintained at 26,000 as at 31st March 2016, roughly the same as six months ago.

Thanks to the £114m net primary proceeds from the IPO, net debt has been slashed from £131.9m to £15m.

Group chief executive Ian Sutcliffe said that the company was firmly on track to achieve the medium-term targets of more than 3,600 completions a year, an operating margin of more than 17% and an improvement in return on capital employed (ROCE) to more than 28%. 

"Trading has been strong, with excellent growth in the first six months of our current financial year,” he said. “We are delighted with the progress we have made since listing on the London Stock Exchange in February and the support we have received from investors. We remain confident we are on track to make further progress for the full year and to continue to build on our success now as a public company."

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