UK improvement at Taylor Wimpey

By Sandy Guthrie02 August 2013

UK-based contractor Taylor Wimpey has reported a “meaningful improvement in the housing market” as its group operating margin for the first half of this year increased to 13.1%, with a record order book in the UK up 35% in value and 24% in volume.

Taylor Wimpey also operates in Spain, where it said the housing market remained difficult.

The group reported that its 13.1% operating margin had increased from 11.0% in the first half of last year. Its UK operating profit margin increased to 13.5%, compared to 11.2% in the first half of 2012.

It said its record order book of £1.3 billion (€1.49 billion) was up from £960.1 million (€1.1 billion) last year, with 7,101 homes up from 5,720.

Pete Redfern, chief executive, said, “During the first half of 2013, there has been meaningful improvement in the housing market, with more positive consumer sentiment, a more available and affordable mortgage market, and the presence of government mortgage schemes, all adding to a favourable outlook.

“Our business is ideally positioned to perform well in this environment with a strong land position and a very effective housebuilding operation.”

Taylor Wimpey said the Spanish housing market continued to be challenging and it said certain legacy sites were difficult. It added that the strategy around these sites would be reviewed in the second half of this year.

However, the company said that the cautious acquisition of new outlets in “outstanding locations, where clear value can be demonstrated,” had led to a significant increase in sales in the first half of 2013. It completed 27 homes in Spain during the first half of 2013, compared to 13 a year earlier. Its order book value was £37 million (€42.4 million) at 30 June, 2013 – £20 million (€22.9 million) for the same period of 2012.

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