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Country Side Housing Developer - Full Year Results Record sales Positioned for future growth


Continued strong growth - well positioned for the future

Full Year Results Statement

Results highlights
Some description 
Positioned for growth
  • Record private forward sales position at £137.5m (2014: £137.3m)
  • Private Average Selling Price £385k up 16.8% (2014: £329k)
  • Number of open sales outlets at year end 29 (2014: 26) with a further 39 (2014: 23) under construction
  • Land bank of 26,213 plots (2014: 23,990) with 14,648 plots with planning consent (2014: 13,408 plots)
  • Revolving credit facility to be extended to £265m, expiring 2019
  • Net debt of £59.5m (2014: £85.7m) down £26.2m
  • Continued strengthening of the Board with the appointment of Rebecca Worthington as CFO and Richard Adam as NED and Chair of the Audit Committee during the year
  • Well on track for medium term growth objectives of over 3,600 completions per year; operating margin of over 17% and improvement in ROCE to over 28%
Outlook and current trading
We continue to experience the strong visitor levels, net sales reservation rates and selling price growth we have seen throughout 2015 and have entered 2016 with a record private order book. We have excellent visibility of future growth given the pipeline of land options and development agreements under our control and the growing number of sites under construction. The planning environment has improved since the General Election allowing us to further increase our site numbers. We continue to expand our Partnerships business, both in the north and south as the push for urban regeneration increases. We anticipate that with strong visibility of our future earnings, we remain firmly on track to deliver our medium term growth plans.

David Howell, Chairman  “This has been another tremendous year of growth for the Group. The outlook for the coming year remains positive, with strong customer demand for our products and political support for the sector. We have a record private forward order book and look forward to delivering the further growth in our medium term plan.”

Ian Sutcliffe, Group Chief Executive “We are delighted to have continued to deliver our operational and financial objectives. We have focused on delivering strong top line and bottom line growth, while maintaining our capital discipline, to give a significant improvement in operating profit, margin and ROCE. Both our Housebuilding and Partnerships divisions have performed very well and have excellent visibility to deliver further industry leading growth.” 

Canning Town affordable housing  

Planning permission has been granted for the first phase of almost 600 new homes to be built through a new partnership between housing developer Countryside and Knowsley Council.

High quality housing developments approved for 600 homes

The partnership will see a range of high quality brand new homes built on vacant land owned by the council in five locations across Knowsley.

Last week, the council’s Planning Committee granted permission for developments on Scotchbarn Lane in Prescot and Arncliffe Road in Halewood.

Countryside has submitted detailed plans which will be considered by the Planning Committee in the next couple of months for the other proposed developments at: Greensbridge Lane in Halewood; Roby Road in Huyton and Tower Hill in Kirkby.

A total of 583 high quality new homes, ranging in size from two to five bedroomed properties, are proposed to be built across the five sites. These will include some affordable homes available to buy on a shared ownership basis.

Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, Cllr Mike Murphy, said: “I’m delighted that we are working with Countryside to regenerate different areas of Knowsley and deliver high quality housing developments. Countryside has a well-deserved reputation as one of the UK’s most successful housing developers and is precisely the calibre of partner we want to work with.

“This partnership gives us the opportunity to regenerate Knowsley and improve the range of quality housing available both to existing Knowsley residents and to attract new people to choose to move into the borough.”

Philip Whitehead, Regional Regeneration Director for Countryside, said: “This major initiative in Knowsley comprises a range of projects in which affordable housing will be seamlessly integrated with other tenures including private rent.

“We’re extremely pleased to be working alongside Knowsley Council to further enhance their communities by providing a varied selection of high quality homes that will cater for the needs of first time buyers, growing families and aspirational movers alike.

“We are delighted to be working in Knowsley and feel fortunate to be playing our part in its future development.”

The first development will start on site in Spring 2016.

The full statement is available here