UK rise for Taylor Wimpey

By Sandy Guthrie19 March 2014

UK-based contractor Taylor Wimpey saw its group operating margin increase to 13.6% in 2013, up from 11.2% a year earlier.

The developer – operating from 24 regional businesses across the UK, and also with operations in Spain – said in its annual report for 2013 that its operating profit for the year was £312.9 million (€373.7 million), compared to £226.1 million (€270 million) in 2012. Profit before tax and exceptional items rose to £268.4 million (€320.5 million) from £181.8 million (€217.1 million).

In the UK, it reported a 39.1% increase in operating profit to £312.8 million (€373.6 million), from a 2012 figure of £224.8 million (€268.5 million). It said its total order book value was £1.25 billion (€1.49 billion) at 31 December, 2013, compared to £948 million (€1.1 billion) in 2012.

In the UK, it said that there was a much improved mortgage environment with better affordability and accessibility. It added that planning remained the fundamental constraint on the industry. Spanish housing accounted for just 1% of group revenue.

Chief executive Pete Redfern said that 2013 had been a year of significant improvement, “where both the quality of our investments and the underlying improvement in the housing market contributed to an improvement across all of our key performance metrics”.

He said, “In a UK housing market showing significant recovery for the first time in five years, we have strongly improved our operating performance, increasing operating profits by 39%. The business is starting to earn a healthy level of returns as the investments we have made from 2009 onwards are starting to deliver.”

Javier Ballester, managing director of its Spanish operations, said, “Market conditions are still challenging, but we have been able to take advantage of the lack of competition and depressed land market to purchase three sites in exceptional locations which are performing extremely well.”

Taylor Wimpey said of the Spanish market that while the wider macro-economic uncertainty had improved considerably, customer confidence still remained subdued on the whole, and in certain locations continued to be “extremely challenging” with mortgage availability remaining restricted.

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