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Sun January 17 2021

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Vistry profits at top end of expectations

5 days A trading update from House-builder Vistry Group reveals that its profits for 2020 will be at the top end of expectations, reaching approximately £140m.

Chief executive Greg Fitzgerald
Chief executive Greg Fitzgerald

Vistry Group reports a strong second half in 2020, with private sales rate per outlet per week increasing by 15% to 0.62 (2019 H2: 0.54).

The company reports that its supply chain “has remained resilient despite the challenges of both the pandemic and Brexit”, maintaining a good supply of materials and labour. Cost inflation stayed low in 2020 and this is expected to continue into 2021.

Covid-secure working practices have been embedded across the business and there has been no requirement to change anything with the current third national lockdown. All sites remain open, with productivity at normal levels. In th alst six weeks of 2020, sales were 20% up on the same period of 2019.

Assuming stable market conditions, profit before tax will rise to £310m for 2021, the board expects.

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Vistry Housebuilding delivered 4,652 completions during 2020 (2019: 6,884) with an average selling price of £302,000. Vistry Partnerships increased its mixed tenure completions by 28% to 1,479 units (2019: 1,158) units.

Chief executive Greg Fitzgerald said: “At the start of the year our priority was to successfully integrate the housing businesses and maximise the very significant benefits from the exciting new combination. We expect to deliver the full run rate of synergies of £44m by the end of FY21, 27% greater than initially expected and achieved at a lower cost.

“Vistry Partnerships has made excellent progress against its ambitious growth strategy in 2020 with a near 30% increase in mixed tenure completions. The group has strong forward sales and is well positioned to deliver a significant step-up in profitability in 2021.

“I am delighted to report a net cash position of £38m as at 31st December 2020, reflecting our strong second half performance and firm focus on cash management. Given the robust balance sheet position, the board now expects to resume dividend payments with a modest final dividend in respect of FY20.”

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