Berkeley Group has reported a 57.7% jump in profit before tax to £214.8m for the year to April 2012, and plans to grow the value of its land bank to £3bn in the next financial year, it said in its preliminary results this morning.
The developer invested £311m in land in the year, acquiring a further 2,444 residential plots across 22 new sites including two central London schemes on Albert Embankment.
Net asset value per share went up 18.3% in the period to 839.3p.
It also made a £30.7m exceptional profit from the disposal of a 51% interest in a student scheme at Clapham Junction, which it co-owned with Imperial College.
Chairman Tony Pidgley said: “I am delighted to report a strong performance again this year. Basic earnings per share have increased by 67.8%, our balance sheet remains strong and forward sales stand at over £1 billion. Last year Berkeley put in place a ten-year framework to return £13 per share by September 2021 with the overwhelming support of shareholders and has been laying the foundations to ensure that we retain a strong, sustainable business which can endure well beyond this period. This set of results demonstrates that we have embarked on this in the right way, delivering solid performance whilst remaining focused on the long-term success of the business.”
He added: “The decision for businesses such as Berkeley to invest is finely balanced despite the sound long term fundamentals for residential property in London and the South East of England. Growth requires a stable political and economic environment with well-considered policies that welcome inward investment and give businesses the confidence to invest and grow; it is essential that London’s competitiveness on a world stage is preserved. Unnecessary bureaucracy, over-zealous regulation and taxation policy, and a negative rhetoric that undermines confidence, create barriers to the delivery of new housing which will pose an unwelcome drag on growth.”
Berkeley is set to reap a huge profit from its Ebury Square development in Belgravia, where it has achieved an average price of £3,000/sq ft on apartment sales at the 150,000 sq ft site, reflecting a value of £450m. The group bought the site at the bottom of market for £22m.
Continued investment saw Berkeley move from a net cash to a net debt position in the year, with net debt standing at £57.9m in April 2012. In May, the company increase its corporate banking facilities from £450, to £525m, of which £250m expires in April 2017 and £275m expires in May 2017.
Basic earnings per share increased 67.8% to 121p.
7 December 2012
17 August 2012
6 July 2012
29 June 2012
30 May 2012